Hamas, Israeli negotiators arrive in Cairo for Gaza ceasefire talks

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Hamas, Israeli negotiators arrive in Cairo for Gaza ceasefire talks
Cairo: Egypt is hosting delegations from Hamas, Israel, Qatar and the US in Cairo with the aim of reaching a “comprehensive truce” in the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli delegation, which arrived in Cairo on Tuesday afternoon, included members of the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad and Shin Bet security agency, an Egyptian source who asked to remain anonymous told Xinhua news agency.

In a video statement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he had instructed the delegation to “continue to stand firm on the conditions necessary for the release of our hostages, continue to stand firm on the essential requirements to ensure Israel’s security.”

However, he noted that the ceasefire proposal, brokered by Egyptian and Qatari mediators and approved by Hamas on Monday, fell short of Israel’s essential requirements.

Egypt is “making every effort to reach a comprehensive truce,” state-affiliated Al-Qahera News quoted an unnamed high-ranking source as saying. The source added that Egypt was engaged in communication with various parties in order to contain the crisis.

The Israeli army on Tuesday launched a military operation in Gaza’s southernmost city of Rafah, where more than 1 million internally displaced Palestinians have sought refuge since Israel’s offensive began on October 7 last year.

At least 20 people have been killed in Israel’s attacks on Rafah since Tuesday morning, Palestinian official news agency WAFA reported.

On Tuesday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on both Israel and Hamas to end the ongoing conflict.

“We are at a decisive moment for the Palestinian and Israeli people and for the fate of the entire region,” said the UN chief.

“An agreement between the government of Israel and the leadership of Hamas is essential to stop the unbearable suffering of Palestinians in Gaza and of the hostages and their families,” Guterres added.

Cairo, Doha and Washington mediated a week-long truce between Israel and Hamas that ended in late November 2023, which included a swap between Palestinian prisoners and Israeli hostages and more humanitarian aid delivery to Gaza.


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