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What to Know About the Gaps Between Israel and Hamas on the Cease-Fire Proposal

Israeli officials said on Tuesday that major gaps remained with Hamas over the latest proposal for a cease-fire in Gaza, as delegations from both sides arrived in Cairo to resume talks.

Hamas said on Monday that it had accepted the terms of a cease-fire proposed by Arab mediators, and U.S. officials said it had minor wording changes from a proposal that Israel and the United States had recently presented to the group.

But Israeli officials disputed that characterization, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying on Tuesday that his war cabinet unanimously believed the proposal Hamas had agreed to was “very far from Israel’s core demands.”

The text of the revised proposal was circulating in Israeli news media on Tuesday and was confirmed as authentic by a senior Hamas official. A person briefed on the negotiations also described the differences in the two sides’ positions. Here are the key ones:

‘Sustainable calm’

The most substantive sticking point centers on a key phrase that appears in both the Israeli- and Hamas-approved proposals: a path to “sustainable calm.”

In the proposal that Israel approved, and that Egypt conveyed to the Hamas leadership on April 26, the two sides would work toward achieving a “sustainable calm” in Gaza after an initial six-week pause in fighting. That proposal left those two words open to interpretation.

Israeli artillery firing from near the border with Gaza in southern Israel on Tuesday.Credit…Atef Safadi/EPA, via Shutterstock

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