Hamas leader says end to Israel’s blockade of Gaza ‘around the corner’

Hamas leader Ismail Haniya said Tuesday that an end to Israel’s more than decade-long blockade of Gaza was “around the corner,” as talk of a possible truce deal intensifies, AFP reported. Indirect negotiations between Gaza’s Hamas rulers and Israel brokered by Egyptian and UN officials have reportedly included discussion on easing the blockade, but not a complete lifting of it. Haniya also seemed to refer to Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas’s concerns over a truce that does not include his Palestinian Authority, based in the occupied West Bank. Abbas’s Fatah and Hamas have been divided for more than a decade. Any agreement would come “with a national consensus… in order to establish the necessary safeguards to implement what is agreed upon,” Haniya said.