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Israel officials defend Egypt brokered truce with Hamas

Israeli Cultural Minister Miri Regev [Miri Regev/Facebook]

A number of Israeli ministers and senior officials have defended the ceasefire agreement being prepared under Egyptian auspices between Hamas and Israel.

Israeli Defence Minister, Avigdor Lieberman rejected criticism of Israel’s contacts with Egypt and the United Nations over the ceasefire deal in the Gaza Strip, saying “Israel does not talk directly to Hamas”, Israeli Kan news agency reported.

“Our interest requires calm and every relevant initiative. We do not talk to Hamas, but we will not tell Cairo or the United Nations that we do not want to talk to them. We have to be wise and smart,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Israeli Minister of Culture, Miri Regev, said: “I am not involved in the ceasefire details” but it must include the return of our soldiers bodies from Gaza.

Egypt Intelligence Chief arrives in Israel to finalise Gaza truce talks

Leader of the Israeli Labor Party, Avi Gabbay, said he preferred an Egyptian brokered agreement with Hamas to an unnecessary military operation.

“In light of the current situation, I chose an agreement with the movement. This is the easier option. When I look at Israel’s internal policy level and the results of ‘Operation Protective Edge’ that ended four years ago led by [Prime Minister] Netanyahu, I can not rely on him in a new military operation.”

“Every international cooperation with Egypt that brings prosperity to these Palestinian citizens would be a blessed step,” Jewish Home MK Moti Yogev said. Yogev blamed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for neglecting Palestinians in Gaza just like his predecessor, Yasser Arafat. “The Palestinian Authority is part of the problem and not part of the solution.”

A number of Palestinian factions travelled to Egypt last week to discuss terms of a ceasefire with Israel. Fatah was not amongst those present and has called the talks a “national betrayal” adding that it will not abide by the terms of ay truce which it has not negotiated.

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