Netanyahu says delegation in Cairo for Gaza talks as Gallant warns to deepen operation if no progress made

AP , Tuesday 7 May 2024

Israeli negotiators have arrived in Cairo for talks on a truce in Gaza and the release of captives, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Tuesday, while Israel's defence minister vowed to "deepen" the Gaza operation if the talks fail to secure the release of captives held there by Hamas.

Israel s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a ceremony marking Holocaust Remembrance Day at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem on May 5, 2024. AFP


Netanyahu said he had instructed the Israeli delegation to "stand firm on the conditions necessary for the release" of Israeli captives held in Gaza, and on "essential requirements for guaranteeing Israel's security".

In the same vein, Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said Israel was prepared to "deepen" its Gaza operation if truce talks fail to secure the release of captives held there by Hamas.

Israel is prepared to "make compromises" to get captives out of Gaza, Gallant said after touring the Rafah area following an overnight Israeli incursion into the Palestinian territory's south, while stressing in a statement that "if that option is not available, we will go and deepen the operation".

Hours earlier, Netanyahu announced that the capture of the Palestinian side of the Rafah crossing was an 'important step' toward dismantling Hamas.

On the Palestinian side, a senior Hamas official said Tuesday that a delegation from the group was due to leave for Gaza truce talks in Cairo, warning it would be Israel's "last chance" to release its captives.

The announcement came after Hamas on Monday said it had accepted a ceasefire plan proposed by mediators Egypt and Qatar.

Short link: