Joined Nov 11, 2007
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FLASH: Israel and Hamas Close to Cease Fire Deal

A decision on whether to launch a ground invasion of Gaza has been put off by at least a day, after Israel decided Monday to give the Egyptians more time to try to broker a cease-fire with Hamas, a senior Israeli official said.

Tuesday’s talks in Cairo are expected to be decisive. The Israeli delegates to the talks, which are being led by Egyptian intelligence chief Gen. Raafat Shehata, plan to return there on Tuesday to present Israel’s response to demands being made by Hamas.

Senior Egyptian officials told Haaretz that the sides are very close, but that some more flexibility is needed from the Israeli side.

The forum of nine senior ministers convened late last night in Jerusalem to be briefed on the negotiations with Egypt.

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