In a hopeful sign that the 20 day long Israeli military operation in the Gaza Strip may finally be winding down, Israel’s Ynet is quoting Palestinian sources as saying both Israel and Hamas have agreed on the general outline for the Egyptian ceasefire and will soon begin a two-week truce to allow time to hammer out the few remaining details for a broader end to hostilities and a full withdrawal of Israeli forces. It is suggested that the truce could begin within the next 72 hours.
Once those final details are worked out, both sides seem set to agree to a ceasefire that would last for at least a year and would be renewable at the end of that time. Among the details yet to be worked out is the timing of the reopening of the border crossings which would restore Gaza’s contacts with the outside world after months of virtual isolation.
The deal will reportedly include international forces deployed on the Palestinian side of the Egyptian border, and Israel will permit Egypt to reopen the Rafah border crossing with only a minimum of restrictions by the Israeli government over who is and isn’t allowed to leave.