US, Qatar renew efforts to forge their own truce proposal

Palestinian sources in Cairo reveal that the United States and Qatar have again renewed their attempts to reach understandings on a ceasefire, even as Palestinian factions meet Egyptian officials in Cairo to forge their own ceasefire proposal.

Officials suggest that the US-Qatari initiative slows and undermines the Egyptian efforts.

Representatives of the US administration are in Cairo, as is the Palestinian delegation that includes senior officials from Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and Fatah.

Sources tell The Times of Israel that the Egyptian effort is focusing on convincing Hamas to first stop fighting on the basis of the understandings obtained after Pillar of Defense in 2012, then moving to a broader ceasefire.

These understandings also include demands on Israel to withdraw from Gaza, ease restrictions at the border crossings and allow the rehabilitation of Gaza.

The new Palestinian government would handle contacts between the sides over the border crossings, importing of goods, and the passage of businessmen into Israel and Gaza after the ceasefire takes effect.

Then, at a later stage, the sides would discuss other demands like the construction of a port and the opening of the Rafah crossing.

Avi Issacharoff

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