Egypt, Qatar, US security leaders meet in Doha Wednesday to revive Gaza truce talks

Ahram Online , Wednesday 5 Jun 2024

Security leaders from Egypt, Qatar, and the US will meet in Doha on Wednesday to “discuss mechanisms for reviving Gaza truce negotiations,” a high-level Egyptian source told Extra News on Tuesday.

Gaza
Palestinians queue for meal rations at a communal food distribution point in al-Bureij refugee camp in the besieged Gaza Strip on June 3, 2024. AFP

 

The source added that the Egyptian security delegation is intensifying its contacts with all concerned parties to advance the negotiating path to reach a truce in the Gaza Strip.

CIA director William Burns and White House Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa Brett McGurk have traveled to the Middle East on Tuesday for talks in Cairo and Doha, The Times of Israel reported, citing two US officials.

During the meetings, they will discuss the Israeli captive deal outlined by US President Joe Biden last week.

Egypt, Qatar, and the United States have been mediating talks between Hamas and Israel since the outbreak of the Israeli military campaign on 7 October over details for a ceasefire and the exchange of captives and prisoners.

The latest round of truce talks, held in Cairo in early May, concluded without reaching a deal, as Israel proceeded ahead with its Rafah plan sending forces to the border city and taking over the Palestinian side of the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt.

Efforts have since been ongoing to revive the talks.

In a public address, US President Biden outlined on Friday a three-phase proposal that starts with a six-week complete ceasefire that would see Israeli forces withdraw from all populated areas of Gaza.

 

 

On Saturday, Egypt, Qatar, and the US called in a joint statement on Hamas and Israel to finalize the agreement embodying the principles outlined by President Biden on Friday.

No “clear position” has been provided from Israel on the new ceasefire deal proposal, Qatari foreign ministry spokesman Majed Al-Ansari said Tuesday, adding that there was no "concrete approval" from either side.

A senior Hamas official in Beirut on Tuesday accused Israel of prolonging truce negotiations and repeated the Palestinian group's position rejecting any deal that excludes a permanent ceasefire, reported AFP.

While the US has stressed that the plan outlined accurately reflects an Israeli proposal, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reportedly described Biden’s proposal as “incomplete.”

He added that there are “gaps” between both the Israeli offer and the US narrative, stressing that Israel will not end the war until it achieves the three war objectives, including destroying Hamas’ military and governance capability.

Since the start of the Israeli war on 7 October, Israel has obliterated three-quarters of Gaza and taken the lives of more than 36,000 Palestinian civilians with more than 80,000 injured.

No humanitarian aid has entered to a population facing famine in Gaza through the Rafah crossing since the Israeli takeover.

Last week, Egypt started redirecting Gaza-bound humanitarian aid trucks from Rafah to Karm Abu Salem crossing temporarily as per an agreement between Egyptian and US presidents.

 

A truck with bundle of humanitarian aid for the Gaza Strip drive at the Karm Abu Salem border crossing in southern Israel, Thursday, May 30, 2024. AP

Cairo has repeatedly expressed its rejection of the presence of Israeli forces at the Palestinian side of the Rafah crossing, insisting that it will only cooperate with Palestinians or international parties over the crossing.

Egypt emphasized the necessity that Israeli forces withdraw from the Palestinian side of the crossing as a prerequisite for reopening it, during a Cairo meeting on Sunday that brought together officials from Egypt, Israel, and the US, a high-level official said.

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