CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt might be willing to amend its truce initiative to end the fighting in Gaza in order to accommodate the Palestinian militant movement Hamas, which had rejected its terms, three Egyptian officials told Reuters.
“Egypt does not mind adding some of Hamas’ conditions provided that all involved parties approve,” one senior Egyptian official said, without giving details.
Among Hamas’s conditions are the lifting of the Israeli and Egyptian blockade on Gaza and the release of several hundred Palestinians arrested by Israel last month during its search for three Jewish teenagers abducted in the occupied West Bank. The trio were later found dead in a killing Israel blamed on Hamas.
Egyptian officials suspect Hamas rejected the ceasefire plan at the urging of Qatar, a strategic player in reaching an effective deal as host to a large number of exiled Islamists from across the Middle East, including Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is at odds with Qatar over its support for the Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist group he removed from power last year.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is expected to meet senior Egyptian officials on the Gaza crisis as part of a Middle East tour. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was also expected in Cairo for talks.
Reporting by Yasmine Saleh; Editing by Alison Williams and Sonya Hepinstall