US Administration: Hamas and Israel truce is necessary

WASHINGTON (AP)

The US administration is pushing for a long-term ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip, a senior White House official said on Tuesday.

According to Israeli media, the US official said that calm in the area is necessary, whether with the consent of the Palestinian Authority or without.

“If the Palestinian Authority returns to the Gaza Strip, this will be a positive development, but it will not be a condition for reaching a ceasefire agreement,” the source said.”We support Egypt’s efforts to secure a cease-fire in Gaza and we have contacts with Israel, Egypt and the United Nations on this issue even if this agreement is without the approval of the Palestinian Authority.”

The newspaper pointed out that the Israeli cabinet will meet on Wednesday to discuss the truce with Hamas in the Gaza Strip. It pointed out that this will be the fourth gathering in ten days on the issue.

Meanwhile, following a meeting between the Minister of War in the occupation government, Avigdor Lieberman, and the Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot, a decision was reached to reopen the Kerem Shalom crossing and to expand the fishing area off the Gaza coast to 9 nautical miles.

On Tuesday, Minister of Finance Moshe Kahlon confirmed that a secret meeting  had taken place between Prime Minister Netanyahu and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. He added that anything decided in relation to Gaza would take place with Egyptian mediation and involvement.