Consensus reached on many issues as Hamas delegation arrives in Cairo for Gaza ceasefire talks: Source

Ahram Online , Saturday 4 May 2024

A Hamas delegation arrived in Cairo on Saturday to resume Gaza truce talks, Egyptian news outlet Al-Qahera News reported, adding that a significant progress has been made.

Palestinians carry recipients as they walk toward a water distribution point along a street devastated by Israeli bombardment in Gaza City. AFP


A high-level source told the channel that the Egyptian security delegation participating in the talks was able to help the Palestinian and Israeli sides reach “a consensus formula” on many points of disagreement.

On Saturday, mediators from Qatar, Egypt and the United States sat down with a Hamas delegation to hear the militant group's response to a proposal that would halt fighting for 40 days and exchange hostages for Palestinian prisoners, according to AFP.

Israel has yet to send a delegation to Cairo, with a top official telling AFP that it would do so only if there was "positive movement" on the proposed framework.

"Tough and long negotiations are expected for an actual deal," the Israeli official cautioned.

Hamas has previously stressed the need for a permanent ceasefire in the strip and concrete conditions for the unconditional return of displaced individuals to northern Gaza.

Mediators have stepped up efforts over the past few days to seal a ceasefire deal as Israel threatens to storm the border city of Rafah.

The United Nations has warned that Israel's threatened assault on the city of Rafah could produce a "bloodbath."

Humanitarian groups and the United Nations have also asked Israel to call off an attack on Rafah, where 1.2 million people have sought refuge.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned Friday that an incursion into the far-southern city could have dire implications.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Friday also reiterated Washington's objections to the long-threatened Rafah offensive, saying Israel has not presented a plan to protect the civilians sheltering there.

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

Israel, whose brutal war on the Gaza Strip has continued for nearly seven months, faces growing international pressure to agree to a ceasefire in Gaza.

Since 7 October, the Israeli army has killed 34,596 Palestinians in Gaza and wounded 77,816 more, most of whom are women and children.

Short link: