Israel-Hamas talks on Gaza truce 'stalling': Qatar

AFP , Wednesday 17 Apr 2024

Negotiations between Israel and Hamas to secure a truce in Gaza and a captive exchange have stalled, Qatar's prime minister said on Wednesday.

Palestinian women sit outside a building heavily damaged by Israeli bombardment, in Rafah the southern Gaza Strip on April 17, 2024.AFP


"We are going through a sensitive stage with some stalling, and we are trying as much as possible to address this stalling," Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani told a news conference with Romanian Prime Minister Marcel Ciolacu.

Qatar, with the United States and Egypt, has been engaged in weeks of behind-the-scenes talks to secure a truce in Gaza and the release of Israeli captives in exchange for Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails.

Negotiators are trying to "move forward and put an end to the suffering that the people in Gaza are experiencing and returning the hostages", Sheikh Mohammed said.

The mediators had hoped to secure a ceasefire before the start of Ramadan, but progress repeatedly faltered without any cessation of hostilities in the Muslim holy month which ended last week.

Instead, fears have grown of the months-long war in Gaza spilling over into a regional conflict after Iran's first-ever direct attack on its arch-foe Israel this weekend.

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