Egypt invites Hamas chief to discuss Paris proposal for Israel-Gaza ceasefire in Cairo

Amr Kandil , Tuesday 30 Jan 2024

Head of Hamas' Political Bureau Ismail Haniyeh said he has received an invitation to visit Cairo to discuss a proposal drafted in Paris for a ceasefire in Gaza and explore the requirements for its implementation.

Ismail Haniyeh
File Photo: Hamas political chairman Ismail Haniyeh. AP


In a statement on Tuesday, Haniyeh said Hamas is examining the framework discussed during the Paris meeting, stressing that the movement's priority is to halt the aggression in Gaza and ensure the exit of the Israeli troops from the strip.

Haniyeh said Hamas is open to discussing “serious” initiatives that could lead to a “comprehensive” cessation of Israeli aggression in the war-ravaged strip.

He commended the role played by both Egypt and Qatar to reach a sustainable ceasefire in Gaza.

Terms of Agreement

According to Israeli Channel 12, the proposal includes a 45-day truce, where 35-40 Israeli captives – mainly the women, elderly and wounded – will be released in its first phase in exchange for 100-250 Palestinian prisoners for each captive.

Further extension of the truce can then be negotiated to release more captives and prisoners in the next phases of the agreement.

Qatar’s Prime Minister Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdul-Rahman Al-Thani, who attended the Paris meeting, said on Monday that negotiators have made “good progress” by drafting a framework for a new captive deal.

Speaking at an Atlantic Council Front Page event, Al-Thani said the deal is “the only way to get the situation de-escalated,” as reported by the Atlantic Council, noting that the progress made may lead to a permanent ceasefire in the future.

In a separate meeting on Sunday, Al-Thani, who also serves as Qatar’s foreign minister, discussed with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken the latest efforts to release the captives held by Hamas in Gaza.



In remarks to reporters following the Paris meeting, Blinken was upbeat about a potential deal, saying: “There is some real hope going forward,” reported AFP.


‘Significant Gaps’

Head of Egypt’s General Intelligence Service Abbas Kamel met with US Central Intelligence Agency Director William Burns and Head of Israel's Mossad David Barnea on Sunday to pursue the agreement, which is set to ensure a prolonged truce in Gaza.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office described the meeting as “constructive,” but acknowledged the existence of “significant gaps” that he said will be addressed in further meetings this week.

Egypt and Qatar, who serve as key intermediaries between Hamas and Israel, secured a week-long pause in Israeli aggression last November, resulting in the release of around 100 captives held in Gaza, including Israelis and foreigners. 

In exchange, Israel freed 240 Palestinian prisoners.

If approved by Israel and Hamas, the new anticipated deal can secure the release of over 100 remaining Israeli captives still held in Gaza and establish a sustained cessation of fighting.

A source told NBC News that the proposal includes no attacks from both sides and the redeployment of Israeli troops away from Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. 

However, the details of this redeployment are yet to be negotiated.

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