Negotiations progress as cease-fire holds

Ben Sales

(JTA) — Indirect negotiations between Israel and Hamas are moving forward as both sides adhere to a renewed cease-fire.

Rockets were fired from Gaza as a previous three-day truce expired at midnight Wednesday, and Israel responded with airstrikes over the coastal strip. But despite exchanging fire, the sides agreed to extend the truce for five days to continue negotiations in Cairo over an end to this round of conflict, which began July 8.

Hamas is demanding an end to the Israeli blockade of Gaza, an opening of border crossings with Israel and Egypt and the construction of a seaport and airport. Israel is demanding that Hamas cease rocket fire and disarm. Egyptian mediators have proposed that Palestinian Authority forces man the border crossings.

A Palestinian negotiator reported agreement “on many points” Thursday, according to Agence France-Presse.