Hamas delegation expected in Cairo for fresh round of Gaza ceasefire talks Sunday

Ahram Online , Sunday 7 Apr 2024

A Hamas delegation is expected to fly to Cairo on Sunday for a fresh round of Gaza ceasefire talks the same day.

File photo: Palestinians flee to northern Gaza as Israeli tanks block the Salah al-Din road in the central Gaza Strip. AP


Senior Hamas official Khalil Al-Hayya will head the delegation, read a statement released by the Palestinian movement on Saturday.

Hamas confirmed that it will adhere to its previous demands presented during the latest round of talks on 14 March, which called for a permanent ceasefire, the withdrawal of the occupation forces from Gaza, and the return of the displaced to their places of residence.

In addition, the demands included ensuring the freedom of movement of people, providing relief and shelter for them as well as a serious prisoner exchange deal.

CIA Director William Burns, Head of Mossad David Barnea, and negotiators from Egypt and Qatar are expected to attend the talks.

The Hamas side of the talks is indirect, according to the Associated Press.

The last hours witnessed intense Egyptian contacts to resume truce negotiations in Cairo, high-level Egyptian sources told Al-Qahera News channel.

Egypt and Qatar helped mediate a week-long ceasefire in November, in which Hamas freed over 100 captives in exchange for 240 detained Palestinian women and children.

However, following rounds of talks have so far failed to progress on the ceasefire or detainee swap deal.

On 25 March, the UN Security Council passed a resolution for the first time demanding an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza war, but Israel's war on Gaza continues unabated in defiance of the resolution.

Pressure has mounted on Israel after its airstrikes killed seven staff from the US-based food charity World Central Kitchen (WCK) in Gaza last week.

On Friday, US President Joe Biden wrote to the leaders of Egypt and Qatar, calling on them to press Hamas for a deal with Israel, reported AP citing an unnamed American senior administration official.

The move came one day after Biden called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to redouble efforts to reach a ceasefire in the six-month-old war.

Israel has killed more than 33,000 people in Gaza and destroyed a majority of homes and infrastructure.

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