Gaza truce talks resume in Doha: Al-Qahera News

AFP , Sunday 25 Feb 2024

Negotiations for a ceasefire in Gaza have resumed in Doha between "experts from Egypt, Qatar, the United States and Israel", as well as Hamas representatives, Egyptian Al-Qahera News reported Sunday.

People walk near buildings levelled by Israeli bombardment in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on February 25, 2024. AFP


An Israeli delegation led by Mossad chief David Barnea was in Paris on Friday discussing possibilities of a deal to ensure a fresh ceasefire and the release of captives held in Gaza in exchange for Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.

Israel's war cabinet agreed on Saturday to send a delegation to Qatar to continue the talks, according to Israeli media reports.

The talks are a "continuation of what was discussed in Paris" and "will be followed by meetings in Cairo," reported Al-Qahera News.

As with a previous week-long truce in November that saw more than 100 captives and 240 Palestinian prisoners freed, Qatar, Egypt and the United States have been spearheading efforts to secure a new deal.

International pressure for a ceasefire has mounted in recent weeks, as the death toll from Israel's military offensive on the Palestinian territory nears 30,000, mostly women and children, according to the health ministry.

In negotiations, Hamas has demanded a ceasefire and Israel's withdrawal from Gaza, which Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has dismissed as "delusional" as he vows to press further into the territory.

Fears have surged over Israeli plans for a ground invasion of Rafah, Gaza's southernmost city where 1.4 million Palestinians have been pushed into sprawling tent cities right against the Egyptian border.

US, Arab and other mediators have voiced hope a deal can be reached before the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan on March 10 or 11, depending on the lunar calendar.

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