Delegations leave Cairo, fail to reach Gaza truce deal

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Delegations leave Cairo, fail to reach Gaza truce deal
Cairo: The delegations of Hamas, Israel, Qatar and the US left Egypt after talks for reaching a truce in the Gaza Strip hit an impasse, the media reported.

“The delegations participating in the Cairo talks left for consultations, while some points of disagreement remained unresolved,” Egypt’s state-affiliated Al-Qahera News TV channel report quoted an unnamed senior official as saying on Thursday.

The delegations arrived in Cairo on Tuesday to achieve a comprehensive truce in the conflict-stricken Gaza. Yet, no agreement has been reached despite some progress in the negotiations, Xinhua news agency reported.

Among the major disputes between the conflicting parties are the number and lists of Israeli hostages and Palestinian prisoners to be released under a swap deal, as well as issues regarding Israel’s partial withdrawal from Gaza to allow free movement of Palestinians in the enclave.

The talks stalled when the Israeli military launched an operation in Gaza’s southernmost city of Rafah crowded with more than one million internally displaced Palestinians and took control of the Palestinian side of the key Rafah crossing.

On Thursday, an Israeli source told Xinhua news agency that the Israeli army will continue its operation in Rafah “as planned” since the truce talks have collapsed.

Cairo, Doha, and Washington are seeking to broker a deal for a prisoner exchange and a second ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, following the first one that ended last November.

Persisting for seven months, the Israeli attacks on Gaza have so far killed more than 34,800 Palestinians and wounded over 78,400 others since the conflict broke out on October 7 last year, according to the Gaza health authorities.

The Israeli onslaught followed a surprise attack by Hamas on southern Israeli towns, in which about 1,200 Israelis were killed and around 250 others were taken hostage.

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