Egypt, Qatar, US, Israel officials conclude Paris talks on Gaza ceasefire: Official



Fri, 23 Feb 2024 - 08:38 GMT


Fri, 23 Feb 2024 - 08:38 GMT

Destruction caused by the war in Gaza - WAFA/FILE

Destruction caused by the war in Gaza - WAFA/FILE

CAIRO – 23 February 2024: The meeting between officials from Egypt, Israel, the United States and Qatar taking place in Paris today to secure a ceasefire and a prisoner swap deal in Gaza has come to an end, according to an Egyptian official source.

A “positive atmosphere” has prevailed in the talks, sources told Al Qahera News with disclosing further details.

The talks are taking place while the humanitarian situation in Gaza is collapsing in light of the Israeli strikes, the obstruction of aid delivery efforts, and with almost all health facilities becoming inoperable.

Previous rounds of talks in Cairo and Paris over the past weeks between the negotiators from these countries have failed to secure a ceasefire deal that ends more than four months of war in the strip.

Egypt has leveled up its calls for a cessation of Israeli hostilities especially while Israel has announced plans to launch a military offensive in Rafah in southern Gaza, which shares a border with Sinai.

Egypt has expressed concerns that a military operation in Rafah, a city whose population swelled from 200,000 before the war to around 1.5 million Gazans currently, will have catastrophic humanitarian consequences.

Egypt also views this potential offensive part of an “Israeli systematic policy” aimed at pushing the population of the city across the Egyptian border, a matter that Cairo described as a “red line.”

Cairo has also expressed the urgency for the activation of the two-state solution and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, as the only way to achieve peace in the Middle East.

Egypt participated on Wednesday in the advisory hearings of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) being held to address the legal consequences of the Israeli occupation of Gaza. Egypt has called for an immediate end to the occupation.

Receiving Hamas negotiators

On the other side, Cairo also receives Hamas delegations, led by the movement’s head of political bureau Ismail Haniyeh.

On Friday, Hamas said it concluded a visit to Cairo, where they discussed with Egyptian officials the ways of halting the Israeli aggression in Gaza as well as Israel’s schemes to prevent people in the West Bank from praying in Al-Aqsa Mosque in Ramadan.

Israel is threatening to implement its Rafah offensive by Ramadan, brushing aside global condemnations.

While the United States participate in the ceasefire talks, it blocked an Arab-backed resolution demanding an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza during a vote at the Security Council on Tuesday.

This is the third time for the US to use its veto power at the Security Council to block resolutions aiming for a ceasefire in the war-ravaged strip.

Over 140 days, the Israeli forces have killed almost 30,000 people and injured almost 70,000 others in Gaza, according to the health ministry in Gaza.



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