Egyptian-Qatari endeavours ongoing to reinstate Gaza truce: WSJ report

Ahram Online , Saturday 2 Dec 2023

Egypt and Qatar are still pressing on with efforts to reinstate the Israel-Hamas truce that collapsed on Friday after the Israeli side resumed its brutal bombardments on the Gaza Strip, breaking a week-long ceasefire, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The Gaza Strip
This picture taken from southern Israel near the border with the Gaza Strip shows smoke rising from buildings after being hit by Israeli strikes, after battles resumed between Israel and Hamas militants, on December 2, 2023. AFP

 

Israel announced the return of a Mossad team from Doha on Saturday, saying negotiations for a new Gaza truce reached a "dead-end."

However, unnamed Egyptian officials told the WSJ that Qatari officials remain in Israel, and Egyptians are in Gaza to keep lines of communication open, WSJ reported citing unnamed Egyptian officials.

During the seven-day truce — mediated by Egypt, Qatar and the US — more than dozens of captives held by Hamas since its 7th October Al-Aqsa Flood operation —in exchange for dozens of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.

According to media reports, negotiations have stumbled in recent days, with Israel claiming Hamas refused to release 17 women and children. The Palestinian movement denied having more women and children captives to release and that the women they had were members of the Israeli military.

Deputy Hamas chief, Saleh Al-Arouri, told Al-Jazeera TV on Saturday that no more prisoners would be exchanged with Israel until the war on Gaza is over and all Palestinian detainees are released.

Negotiators told the WSJ that Israel has so far rejected a proposal from Qatari and Egyptian mediators to incorporate other groups of hostages, including civilian men, as well as military reservists after the release of civilian women and children are released.

“We are still talking and sharing updates every hour. Negotiations only collapse when parties stop talking. This is not happening here,” the US paper quoted a senior Egyptian official as saying.

Before the truce, Israel had already killed over seven weeks about 15,000 Palestinians — two-thirds of them women and children — and left homeless more than 75 percent of Gaza's 2.3 million residents.

For the second-day post-truce collapse, the Israeli offensives killed at least 200 people throughout the Gaza Strip in the first hours 24 hours.

Since the resumption of the Israeli war on Gaza, no aid convoys or fuel deliveries have entered Gaza, and humanitarian operations within Gaza have largely halted, according to the UN.

 

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