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Hamas denies reports about a ceasefire deal

Hamas's spokesperson in Gaza Sami Abu-Zuhri has denied the reports that a ceasefire agreement had been agreed between Israel and the Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip, telling Agence France Press that: "The news about a ceasefire is incorrect."

International media initially reported an Israeli official who said that the Israeli delegation had agreed on Egypt's proposal for a comprehensive ceasefire in Gaza starting from Friday morning, although the decision still required the approval of the Israeli government.

However, there were conflicting reports about the progress made in the indirect talks between Israel and the Palestinian factions in Cairo. While news agencies quoted one Israeli official as saying that the ceasefire would take effect at 6 am Friday, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman confirmed to reporters that these reports were mere rumours.

In addition, an Israeli minister and member of the mini-ministerial council told Haaretz newspaper that the reports about reaching a ceasefire agreement were incorrect, noting that such an agreement had not been discussed in the council.

Arabs 48 reported that an official in the Islamic Jihad movement said the Cairo talks were making progress, but they had not led to an agreement yet. The Hebrew website Walla! quoted an Israeli official as saying that the talks had made significant progress, but Aljazeera satellite channel reported the opposite news via a senior Palestinian source who said that no progress had been made in Cairo regarding the ceasefire.

The Palestinian official did not give any information about the basis of any proposed agreement or name the demands of the resistance factions.

These demands are: the opening of all border crossings with the Gaza Strip, the round-the-clock opening of the Rafah crossing linking Gaza and Egypt on a permanent basis and with international guarantees that it will not be closed again, the establishment of a maritime route to the Gaza Strip, allowing residents of the Gaza Strip to pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, freeing prisoners of the Shalit deal once again, and ensuring the entry of funds to the Gaza Strip via a stable mechanism.

Egypt has demanded the presence of Palestinian Authority representatives at the Rafah border crossing as a prerequisite for its permanent opening.

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