There are conflicting reports from the media as well as spokespersons from both parties as to whether Israel has accepted a broad-based deal offered by Hamas to end the crisis in Gaza.

 

Khaled Meshal, the Damascus-based head of the Hamas political office, supports Ismail Haniyeh’s call for a cease-fire between and the Palestinians, according to Hamas officials. The offer from Hamas includes the release of the captured Israeli soldier and a long-term  hudna including an end to the release of Qassam rockets over Israeli terrirtory. , in return, would release Palestinian prisoners and withdraw from the Gaza Strip. This is according to Hamas sources as reported in Ha’Aretz..

 

While Hamas sources also say that the Israeli side refuses to hear their proposals despite
the fact that clear messages have been sent through mediators, the London-based Arabic newspaper al-Hayat issued unconfirmed reports that accepted Hamas’s terms as presented to it in the framework of indirect negotiations with Corporal Gilad Shalit’s captors via Egyptian negotiators.

 

To add to the confusion, Prime Minister Olmert said over the weekend that he would not negotiate the release of prisoners, yet, an elected deputy of the Hamas political office, Musa Abu Marzuk, confirmed that Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh’s call for a cease-fire Saturday followed a statement by Israeli Public Security Minister Avi Dichter that would be willing to release prisoners as part of a deal that would free Gilad Shalit.

 
Khaled Meshal is expected to hold a press conference on Monday in which he will present his official stance regarding the fighting in the Gaza Strip and the case of the captured  soldier.

 

 

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