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Hamas open to cease-fire deal with Israel

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Intensifying negotiations in Cairo on a cease-fire deal between Hamas and Israel appeared to bear some fruit Wednesday.

The Islamist militant group said it accepted an Egyptian proposal to end the fighting in Gaza that has killed at least 1,000 Palestinians and, the Monitor reports, is exacerbating the rift between Hamas and its secular rivals in the Fatah Party.

But Hamas still has reservations.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that Hamas representative Salah al-Bardawil “hinted that Hamas had generally accepted the terms of the Egyptian proposal but demanded clarifications on several clauses.”

It reported that Hamas wants an end to “Israeli aggression in Gaza, the lifting of the siege on Gaza, the reopening of Gaza's border crossings, the rehabilitation of the strip, and a compensation for Gaza residents.”

Senior Israeli officials will travel to Cairo Thursday to discuss the deal and present their own terms for a cease-fire to the conflict, which is now in its third week.

One of the key stumbling blocks, which may still foil any deal between Israel and Hamas, is how to police the border between Gaza and Israel.

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