Hamas-Israel ceasefire 'within one or two days', top Hamas official anticipates

Hamas-Israel ceasefire 'within one or two days', top Hamas official anticipates
Mousa Abu Marzook told a Lebanese TV station the ceasefire would apply to Gaza, but not the West Bank or elsewhere.
2 min read
20 May, 2021
Israel has now been bombing Gaza for 11 days [SAID KHATIB/AFP/Getty]

A top Hamas leader has said he anticipates a ceasefire between Israel and the Gaza-based group may be achieved "within one or two days".

Mousa Abu Marzook made the comments to Lebanese TV station Al-Mayadeen, as reported on their website on Wednesday.

He said the ceasefire would only apply to Gaza, but not the West Bank or elsewhere, adding that "Hamas declares victory", and that "all the villages in occupied Palestine rose up against the occupation."

Abu Marzook said he is confident "the currently ongoing efforts concerning the ceasefire will succeed".

This comes as anonymous Hamas figures informed CNN a ceasefire with Israel may be reached "imminent[ly], possibly within 24 hours" on Wednesday.

An Fatah official, Hussein Hamayel, informed the Anadolu Agency that there are "early signs of a halt to Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip" happening within this same timeframe.

CNN cited an official with the Gaza-based group as having said on Wednesday there is a "positive atmosphere" to negotiations with Tel Aviv.

The official said this was "thanks to the support of our Egyptian and Qatari brothers".

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The Hamas figure also explained that "the general demands of the Palestinian people remain clear: an end to the Israeli aggression on Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood.

"An end to the Israeli aggression on Gaza, and a mechanism for rebuilding Gaza after the Israeli destruction."

Cairo and Doha have been key players in international diplomatic efforts aiming to end the escalation in Palestine-Israel.

CNN said they had separate suggestions for arriving at a truce.

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The US paper added that Israel has admitted behind closed doors it has almost met its aims, according to US and "foreign" sources.Sources participating in talks told The Wall Street Journal a ceasefire might even be reached by Friday.

However, the BBC said Eli Cohen, Israel's intelligence minister, rejected suggestions of a Friday truce.

Speaking on Israeli state radio for Kan, he said: "We will finish the operation when we decide we have attained our goals."

Meanwhile, early on Thursday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken tweeted that he with Israel's foreign affairs minister, Gabi Ashkenazi.

He said this concerned "efforts to end the violence in Israel and the West Bank and Gaza, which has claimed the lives of Israeli and Palestinian civilians including children."

"The U.S. expects to see de-escalation on the path to a ceasefire."

Gaza has now seen 232 deaths, of which 65 have been children, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Israeli authorities have reported 12 deaths in Israel.