Israel so far has no plans to join Gaza truce talks in Cairo

AP , AFP , Sunday 3 Mar 2024

Israel has so far announced no plans to join the Egypt talks for truce in Gaza, as it demanded Hamas first provides a list of all 130 remaining captives, including more than 30 presumed dead

Israeli bombardment in Rafah
The Palestinian health ministry says 14 members of the Abu Anza family were killed in bombardment in Rafah. AFP


Israel did not send a delegation because it is waiting for answers from Hamas on two questions, according to Israeli medias, quoting officials.

Israeli media reported that the government is waiting to learn which captives are alive and how many Palestinian detainees Hamas seeks in exchange for each.

Mediators have been scrambling to lock in a truce before Ramadan, the fasting month that begins in around one week.

Envoys from the United States, Qatar and Hamas have arrived in Cairo, Egyptian media reported Sunday.

A US official, speaking to reporters late Saturday, had said "there's a framework deal" for a ceasefire which could start "today if Hamas agrees to release" elderly, women and ill captives.

"The Israelis have more or less accepted it," the administration official said. "Right now, the ball is in the camp of Hamas."

A Hamas official said that, if Israel were to meet its demands, this would "pave the way for an agreement within the next 24-48 hours".

Osama Hamdan, a Lebanon-based Hamas official, told Al-Araby TV that the group insisted on a complete, rather than "temporary", ceasefire and on "ending the aggression against our people".

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has so far rejected pulling troops out of Gaza before Hamas is destroyed and all captives are freed.

The Hamas official also said the group would demand "the entry of at least 400 to 500 trucks per day" carrying food, medicine and fuel as part of a truce deal.

Israel had yet to confirm that it has accepted the truce plan or whether it would attend the Cairo talks.

Pressure for a resolution escalated after Israel shot at civilians as they attempted to get food, killing at least 116 people as crowds rushed an aid convoy.

Israel has killed at least 30,410 people, including 21,000 children and women, since the war started, with some 7,000 missing and 71,700 injured.

Calls for ceasefire come as aid organizations have warned there is a risk of famine in northern Gaza.

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