Israel reportedly agrees to cease-fire with Hamas in talks with Egypt

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Israel has reportedly agreed to an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire with Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the Gaza Strip – as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to convene the security cabinet to discuss the terms for the agreement.

Citing the Qatar-based Al Jazeera TV, the Jerusalem Post reported that Israeli officials have updated the Egyptian mediator brokering the talks that it agrees to end its military operation.

There were still mixed reports of a ceasefire, however, with Hamas political bureau member Husam Budran telling a radio station that no agreement with Israel has been reached, Haaretz reported.

He added that if reports that Israel is preparing to announce a unilateral cease-fire prove true, Hamas would assess the situation and decide how to proceed, according to the news outlet.

News of a possible ceasefire emerged after Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki accused the Jewish state in the United Nations of committing war crimes and deliberately killed children in their sleep.

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan walked out of the General Assembly meeting in protest of the minister’s inflammatory allegations, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Al Jazeera reported that UN Mideast peace envoy Tor Wennesland was meeting Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh in Qatar.

A senior Hamas official told CNN late Wednesday that he expected a ceasefire agreement to be reached within the next couple of days.

“I think ceasefire mediation will work,” Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzook , deputy head of the Hamas political branch told the network. “The equation was clear — if they escalate we escalate. If they stop firing at Gaza we’ll stop firing at Tel Aviv. Israel’s actions in Jerusalem and Sheikh Jarrah have caused the al-Aqsa Brigades to enter the campaign.

He added “Any negotiations for a ceasefire must address that.”

A senior Hamas official told Agence France-Presse: “We expect a return to calm in the coming hours, or tomorrow (Friday), but it depends on the cessation of the aggression of the occupation forces in Gaza and Jerusalem.

“But there is nothing definitive for the moment,” added the source, indicating that Qatar, which hosts Haniyeh and sends financial assistance to Gaza, was at the heart of “intense” negotiations.

President Joe Biden has urged a “significant de-escalation” while Netanyahu vowed to push on until the campaign reaches its objective — “to restore quiet and security” for Israelis.

The diplomatic efforts for a ceasefire intensified on the 11th day of deadly violence between Israel and militants in Gaza, as air strikes again hammered the enclave.

UN chief Antonio Guterres told the General Assembly on Thursday that “the fighting must stop immediately,” calling the continued hostilities between Israeli forces and Palestinian groups “unacceptable.”

“If there is a hell on earth, it is the lives of children in Gaza,” Guterres said.

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