Efforts to de-escalate the situation between Israel and Hamas have been ongoing. The United Nations Special Coordinator for the Mideast Peace Process Nickolay Mladenov met on Friday with members of Hamas’s leadership; including Ismail Haniya, who relayed the clear message to Jerusalem that “Israel has to grant (Palestinian) fishermen access to the sea immediately…” “…or else, the situation will escalate.”
Senior Hamas officials insisted that they are willing to give “the international efforts to reach a truce arrangement and lift the siege (on the enclave) a chance.” That said, “If those efforts are not achieved,” they warned, Hamas will force Israel “to lift the siege by means of an armed resistance.” It is important to note that the Hamas leadership in Gaza is apparently divided over the current international efforts to reach a truce arrangement with Israel. Palestinian sources revealed that Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar has lost faith in the international efforts. He was said to believe the sides are wasting their time, as and such refused to attend the Friday meeting between Haniya and Mladenov.