CAIRO (Agencies) - Peace brokers proclaimed a breakthrough Wednesday in efforts to halt the Gaza conflict as Israel warmed to a Franco-Egyptian initiative and Russia pressed for a diplomatic solution in talks with Hamas. The Palestinian group Hamas said there are "positive signs but no agreement yet". A senior Hamas source said the Islamists' leadership was examining the truce plan after talks with Egyptian officials. The two-man delegation of Emad al-Alami and Mohammed Nasr left Cairo for Damascus to report on their discussions with Egyptian officials, including intelligence chief Omar Suleiman. "The movement is studying the initiative," a Hamas official told AFP. Hamas' senior leader, politburo chief Khaled Meshaal, was also quoted as expressing a "readiness to take part in such a solution to the conflict" after talks with a Russian envoy. France's President Nicolas Sarkozy hailed what he described as Israel and the Palestinian Authority's "acceptance of the plan" for a ceasefire. "The president warmly welcomes Israel and the Palestinian Authority's acceptance of the Franco-Egyptian plan presented yesterday evening by President Hosni Mubarak," Sarkozy's office said. An Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman described as "encouraging" Israeli ministers' reaction to proposals it has made for an to end to the 12-day-old offensive against Gaza. "This is encouraging but we still have to discuss the details with them," Hassam Zaki told AFP from the United Nations in New York where he is accompanying Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit. In his meeting with Russia's top Middle East envoy, Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Saltanov, Meshaal stressed that any truce should not involve a capitulation by Hamas. "In the talks, the Russian side emphasised the need for a political-diplomatic solution," a statement from Russia's Foreign Ministry quoted Saltanov as saying. "Khaled Meshaal expressed his readiness to take part in such a solution to the conflict. But he added that the imposition of capitulatory conditions by Israel were unacceptable." In a separate statement issued by Hamas, Meshaal struck a similarly hardline stance, accusing Israel of waging an "unjust and barbaric war... aimed at breaking the will of the Palestinian people." He also called on Russia to adopt "a firm and decisive position" towards Israel whose main ally the United States has backed the efforts to secure a halt to one of Israel's deadliest-ever offensives in Gaza. Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has underscored the urgency of achieving a lasting ceasefire in the Middle East, and at a UN Security Council meeting Tuesday appeared to warm to the approach of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. "As we strive for a ceasefire, the US remains deeply concerned about innocent Palestinians and Israelis who are suffering. In that regard, let me assure you that we understand the urgency of an end to the fighting and that we are working around the clock to bring it into being," Rice said, adding, "In this regard, we are pleased by and wish to commend the statement of president - the president of Egypt and to follow up on that initiative." "It is imperative that any ceasefire is durable and sustainable, and that it ensures the safety and security of Israelis and Palestinians alike." Rice insisted that a ceasefire that did not put an end to Hamas rocket firing into Israel "is unacceptable and would not last." Rice said any ceasefire deal must also include an end to the smuggling of weapons into Gaza and the reopening of border crossings 'so that the Palestinians can benefit from humanitarian goods and basic supplies."