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Hamas official: Rumors of talks with Israel exaggerated

A senior Hamas source claims that rumors about negotiations with Israel for a long-term truce are exaggerated, saying that the only issue seriously on the table is an exchange of Hamas prisoners and the bodies of two IDF soldiers.
Senior Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh gestures as leaves his office as a former Hamas government Prime Minister, in Gaza City June 2, 2014. President Mahmoud Abbas swore in a Palestinian unity government on Monday under a reconciliation deal with Hamas Islamists that led Israel to freeze U.S.-brokered peace talks with the Western-backed leader. REUTERS/Suhaib Salem  (GAZA - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR3RTYV
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For quite some time now, reports have been circulating in the media about communication between Israel and Hamas toward "hudna" — a long-term truce between the parties. In an Al-Monitor article June 30, Uri Savir reported that a source in the prime minister's office confirmed to him that there had been an exchange of messages between Israel and Hamas; however, as the source noted, the parties are still too far apart.

The messages, the deliberate leaks and, above all, the hopes of Gaza residents for a change and an improvement in their own situation and in the overall state of the Gaza Strip have triggered a wave of rumors that a historic agreement between Israel and Hamas is not only possible, but also closer than ever. And anyone looking for confirmation and corroboration could find them in the statements made July 4 by former Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh.

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