A senior Hamas official confirmed Thursday that the group’s delegation in talks seeking a Gaza truce left Cairo for consultations in Doha, while voicing dissatisfaction with Israel’s responses so far.

“We are awaiting the final official response from the enemy (Israel),” said the official, who was involved in negotiations in Cairo but declined to be named.

“The initial (Israeli) responses do not meet the minimum requirements related to the permanent cessation of hostilities” or other Hamas conditions for a ceasefire, he added.

Hamas has been insisting on a complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza, the return of displaced people to their homes and allowing reconstruction to begin in the territory.

“We will not compromise on that which ensures the safety of our people,” the official said.

Another Hamas official, Mahmoud Mardawi, told AFP that the fate of negotiations depended on Washington now.

“It is now in Washington’s hands whether it wants to pressure (Israeli premier Benjamin) Netanyahu and his government to reach an agreement,” Mardawi said.

“If Israel is serious and does not procrastinate, it is possible to reach a ceasefire before the start of Ramadan,” he added.

Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting, begins as early as Sunday, depending on the sighting of the crescent moon.

With AFP