"Hamas in recent months has repeatedly expressed its willingness to begin negotiations with Israel through some channels on a long-term agreement on truce in the Gaza Strip," the Israeli publication Haaretz reports.
According to the newspaper, high-ranking Israeli security officials have recently handed over intelligence data to the Israeli authorities, which proves that Hamas is open to dialogue on issues it refused to discuss in the past, since the movement is currently in an "unprecedented crisis."
The media went on to explain that "there has been a deep split in the Hamas movement as it was looking for a way out of the desperate situation in the Gaza Strip, which suffers from an economic crisis, sanctions from the Palestinian National Authority, pressure over the Israeli-Egyptian blockade as well as growing internal unrest."
Demonstrations on the Palestinian-Israeli border have been continuing for the sixth consecutive week already. According to representatives of the Gaza health ministry, more than 430 Palestinians have sustained injuries and 48 protesters were killed.
Israel and Egypt established a blockade of the Gaza Strip in 2007, when the Hamas movement took control of the region, in order to prevent smuggling of arms into the coastal enclave. Hamas, in response, launched a campaign to protest it, saying that Israel And Egypt's actions cause a shortage of medical equipment as well as a sewage crisis.
Last year, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas took a number of measures against the Gaza border region, including the suspension of payments to Israel for electricity and cut salaries for thousands of civil servants. Abbas pledged not to lift the sanctions imposed on the Gaza Strip until Hamas cedes control over the Gaza Strip, including also over the movement's weapons.