Hamas officials claim the wheels are in motion for an Egyptian sponsored ceasefire between the movement and Israel following days of exchanging fire of rockets and missiles.
Hamas spokesman Ismail Al-Ashqar said in a Friday press statement that Egypt would not accept the destruction of the Gaza Strip. He appealed to the Egyptian authorities to apply pressure on Israel “to stop its aggression”, according to state-run MENA.
Al-Ashqar said Egypt could broker a ceasefire involving a prisoner swap between the two sides.
The Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman said the ministry had no information regarding the brokerage of a ceasefire, but said “other agencies” could be involved.
In November 2012 Egypt and the United States were able to broker a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.
Rockets were fired from Gaza in apparent retaliation for the kidnapping and murder of Palestinian teenager Mohamed Abu Khudeir. Palestinian news agency Ma’an reported that the 16-year-old was burnt alive, citing Palestinian Attorney General Muhammad Abd al-Ghani Uweili.
Abu Khudeir’s abduction and murder is thought to be a revenge attack for the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers last week. The three – Eyal Yifrah, Naftali Frenkel and Gilad Sha’er – went missing for 18 days before their bodies were found. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu directly blamed Hamas for their kidnapping and murder.
A funeral held for Abu Khudeir on Friday was attended by thousands in Jerusalem, with demonstrating Palestinians clashed with Israeli security forces following the funeral.
US Secretary of State John Kerry condemned the murder of Abu Khudeir last Wednesday, saying those who “undertake acts of vengeance only destabilise an already explosive and emotional situation”.
Netanyahu said on Thursday that Israeli security forces are investigating “the shocking murder” and called on Israelis to “exercise restraint” in their “actions and words”.