Gaza ceasefire: Egyptian source reports agreement on main points despite denial of Hamas official

Ahram Online , Monday 8 Apr 2024

A senior Egyptian source asserted that the latest round of talks in Cairo to reach a Gaza ceasefire has made progress with negotiators agreeing on main issues, Al-Qahera News reported on Monday.

Palestinians walk past damaged buildings in Khan Yunis. Photo: AFP


However, a Hamas official later told Reuters that there was no progress in the talks, which involved senior negotiators from Egypt, Israel, the United States, Qatar, and the Palestinian movement.

A proposed truce between Israel and Palestinian factions included a prisoner swap agreement and mechanisms for the return of displaced individuals in Gaza, the Egyptian source revealed.

Israeli and US negotiators will leave Cairo “in the coming hours,” with talks anticipated to resume within two days, he added.

Contrarily, the Hamas official stated that there is “nothing new” in the Cairo talks as Israel has not altered its position.

Similarly, an Israeli official denied any significant progress in the negotiations, emphasizing that a considerable gap still exists between both sides.

“We still don’t see a deal on the horizon,” the Israeli official told Israeli Ynet news site.

Despite rounds of talks held in Cairo, Paris, and Doha over the past weeks, an agreement has yet to be reached as the conflict enters its seventh month.

Since the Israeli war started on 7 October, Israel has killed over 33,000 casualties, displaced most of the Gazans, and pushed the strip into one of the worst-ever humanitarian crises.

Israel has advocated for a temporary truce in Gaza to secure the release of over 100 captives still held by Hamas and other factions.

In late November, Hamas released over 100 captives during a six-day truce brokered by Egypt, Qatar, and the United States in exchange for around 240 Palestinian prisoners.

However, several captives have been reported dead due to Israeli shelling in recent months.

Hamas has consistently emphasized its conditions for a prisoner swap, including a permanent ceasefire, the return of displaced individuals, particularly in northern Gaza, and the complete withdrawal of Israeli troops from the strip.

Significant gaps towards reaching a deal have persisted as Israel has refused these demands.

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