Israel and Hamas will likely agree on a truce in the next two days. That is what sources at the warring parties say against international media.
Such a truce would first end Israeli bombing of targets in the Gaza Strip, a senior Israeli official and other insiders told The New York Times. Israel is also stopping attempts to kill top Hamas figures. That must then stop the large-scale rocket fire on Israel.
Israel is also demanding that Hamas stop digging tunnels towards Israel that can be used to carry out attacks. The Israelis further demand an end to violent protests on the border of the Gaza Strip and Israel.
Bodies and prisoners could also be exchanged at a later time. Israel would also be willing to allow goods back into the Gaza Strip, an impoverished Palestinian coastal enclave. The Israeli government has not yet publicly admitted that it is sitting around the table with Hamas.
Israel and Hamas have also signed truces in the past. At the time, negotiations were sometimes delayed because some key Hamas officials were difficult to reach. They would fear that they would be liquidated by Israel and are often in hiding. They, therefore, do not use any electronic devices.
A Hamas official also expressed optimism about the outcome of the negotiations. “I think the current ceasefire efforts will be a success,” Moussa Abu Marzouk said on Lebanese television channel al-Mayadeen. “I expect a file based on a mutual agreement within two days.”