HomeWorldProgress in Gaza truce talks, says Egyptian media

Progress in Gaza truce talks, says Egyptian media

Progress in Gaza truce talks, says Egyptian media

Cairo, EGYPT (EFE) – Talks for a ceasefire in the war-ravaged Gaza Strip have made “significant progress” in Cairo, and all parties have reached a consensus on many basic but contentious points, Egypt’s state-affiliated Al-Qahera News reported on Monday.

Citing a high-ranking Egyptian source close to the intelligence services, Al-Qahera News stated that the fresh round of negotiations has brought differing viewpoints closer.

READ MORE : Israel and Hamas dig in as international pressure builds for a cease-fire in Gaza

According to the report, all parties have agreed on “many controversial points.”

The development follows Israel and Hamas sending their negotiators to Egypt on Sunday for fresh talks on a potential ceasefire to pause the devastating war that has raged for the last six months.

Mossad head Didi Barnea and CIA chief Bill Burns were also in Cairo to meet with their Egyptian and Qatari counterparts.

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A protestor holds a placard with a picture of deceased hostage, Elad Katzir, outside the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv, Israel, 06 April 2024. EFE-EPA/ABIR SULTAN

The Hamas and Qatari delegations have reportedly left Cairo, with plans to return in two days to finalize the terms of a final agreement.

Al-Qahera News indicated that negotiations would continue over the next 48 hours, coinciding with the beginning of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting.

The latest round of negotiations, conducted in complete secrecy, occurred Sunday night in Egypt.

Efforts have been underway since before Ramadan to reach a ceasefire agreement, involving a cessation of hostilities and an exchange of Israeli hostages in Gaza for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. However, all attempts have failed thus far.

The current proposal under negotiation could lead to a six-week ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, along with the release of 40 hostages held by Hamas, including female soldiers, men over 50, and others with serious medical conditions.

In exchange, Israel would release 700 Palestinian prisoners, as reported by American and Israeli media.

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People protest outside the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv, Israel, 06 April 2024. EFE-EPA/ABIR SULTAN

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated on Sunday that there would be no ceasefire agreement unless the 133 hostages still held by Hamas are returned home.

He said that Israel would not yield to the “extreme demands” of the Islamists.

Large-scale anti-government demonstrations have rocked Israel, with activists and some relatives of the hostages demanding the government call for a ceasefire and ensure the safe return of captives.

They hold Netanyahu responsible, accusing him of prioritizing his political survival over the safe return of their loved ones.

As the war enters its seventh month, the Palestinian death toll in the strip has surpassed 33,100, with some even dying from hunger.

The number of wounded has reached nearly 76,000, with more than 7,000 bodies estimated to be buried under the rubble of buildings destroyed in Israeli bombings.

Israeli forces have reported 257 combat casualties in the enclave.

Since Oct. 7, over 600 soldiers have died, with the majority during Hamas’ attack on Israeli territory, resulting in approximately 1,200 deaths and more than 250 hostages.

Until now, Hamas and Israel have reached only one ceasefire agreement in the last nearly six months of war.

The truce lasted for a week in November and allowed for the exchange of 105 hostages for 240 Palestinian prisoners. EFE

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