Hamas Leaders Approve 'Gradual' Cease-Fire Deal with Israel

Hamas Leaders Approve 'Gradual' Cease-Fire Deal with Israel

A Palestinian shot by Israeli forces on the Gaza border four months ago has died, the health ministry in the coastal enclave has said. Israel withdrew troops and settlers from Gaza in 2005 while keeping control of its coast and airspace.

A member of the Israeli Security Cabinet, Ze'ev Elkin (Likud), referred to the ceasefire talks with Palestinian resistance movement Hamas and said that "an arrangement with the organization is now not on the agenda". Now the leaders were waiting for an Israeli response after the cabinet meets Sunday, the TV report said.

The Shaul family plans to protest the deal in front of the Prime Minister's Office on Sunday morning, when the security cabinet is to meet to discuss the agreement.

Hamas, a terror group that officially seeks Israel's destruction, is the de facto ruler of the Strip. The UN and Egypt have not publicly detailed the proposals.

A ministry spokesman was not immediately available to respond to a request for comment on the cable.

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"The construction of the border area with the Gaza Strip, both land and sea, is progressing at a rapid and impressive pace", said Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman. But we will not take over from Israel in Gaza. The more than 2 million Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip have suffered from a 10-year Israeli-imposed land, air, and sea blockade, which has plunged the small territory into poverty and some of the highest unemployment rates in the world.

The Palestinians and the United Nations similarly dispute Israel's assertion that it ended its occupation of Gaza in 2005.

Fatah criticized "Hamas" for being involved in "shameful negotiations" with Israel, saying the deal aims "to separate Gaza from the homeland and establish a small state which would be the graveyard for our national project". They have spoken generally of a need to improve humanitarian conditions in Gaza.

About 158 Palestinians have been killed and more than 17,000 others injured by Israeli gunfire during the rallies which peak every Friday.

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