Conflicting reports about negotiations for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas continued to surface Sunday in the backdrop of ongoing rocket fire and IDF airstrikes.
Hamas' deputy politburo chief Mousa Abu Marzook said Sunday that the group rejected Israel's terms for a ceasefire. Conversely, Hamas spokesman Razi Hamed told Al-Jazeera that Israel and Hamas had agreed on 90% of an outline for a truce.
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In an interview with al-Arabiya, Abu Marzook said that Israel is discussing a possible settlement with Egyptian mediators but has presented two pre-conditions that were not acceptable as far as Hamas is concerned.
The first condition, he said, concerned the demilitarized zone near the border and the second was a cessation of weapons smuggling via tunnels. He confirmed that Hamas officials are negotiating a ceasefire in Cairo. He added that the group is interested in a truce but not on Israel's conditions.
Earlier on Sunday, he told Egyptian newspaper al-Masry al-Youm that Hamas has raised its demands but expressed willingness to halt fire if all of its terms are met. He added that a lull can be reached with the help of Egypt, Qatar and Turkey.
Izzat al-Rishak, a Hamas politburo member, also addressed efforts to reach a truce. "The Egyptian efforts continue but have yet to produce final results," he said.
"The resistance won't accept a lull at any cost. There is no choice but to fulfill our people's goals by halting the aggression, stopping the targeted killings and lifting the unjust Gaza blockade."
Thirty Palestinians were killed on Operation Pillar of Defense's fifth day, including 11 in one strike. Four children and five women were among the dead.
The IDF continues its airstrikes in Gaza and has hit more than 1,100 targets since the operation began.
Earlier on Sunday, Egyptian security officials said that an Israeli official had arrived in Cairo in order to discuss a ceasefire agreement. The unnamed official arrived with three other people and left Cairo after several hours later, after receiving Hamas' terms.
Meanwhile, a source at the Islamic Jihad told the Lebanese al-Mayadeen TV network that the group's secretary-general Ramadan Shallah is scheduled to meet Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi in the coming days.
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