Informal talks between an Israeli representative and Palestinian factions are underway in Cairo, Palestinian news agency Ma’an quoted a senior Palestine Liberation Organization official as saying.
According to a Maan report, an Israeli representative has arrived in Cairo for indirect Egypt-mediated talks. Turkey and Qatar are playing a major role in the negotiations.
“Ceasefire negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians have entered a very serious phase. Israel agreed to demands it had previously considered unacceptable,” Nabil Shaath said after a meeting with Hamas chief Khalid Mashaal and his deputy Mousa Abu Marzouq, who updated him on the Cairo talks.
“However, the ceasefire is not likely to take effect in the coming days because Israel is trying to impose its own stipulations ignoring the demands of Hamas and other Palestinian factions,” he went on.
According to the agency, Israel warned it would begin a full-scale ground, naval and air operation in the Gaza strip within two or three days if the sides fail to come to an agreement.
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Sunday Israeli forces were prepared to widen its Pillar of Defense operation in Gaza. Meanwhile, Israel has put 75,000 reservists on stand-by and troops and military equipment are massed near the Gaza border.
According to the agency, at least 73 Palestinians and three Israelis were killed since Israel launched the operation on Wednesday.