Hamas delegation to visit Egypt on Monday to submit response to ceasefire proposal



Sun, 28 Apr 2024 - 02:29 GMT


Sun, 28 Apr 2024 - 02:29 GMT

A file photo of the destruction in Gaza due to the Israeli war - WAFA

A file photo of the destruction in Gaza due to the Israeli war - WAFA

CAIRO – 28 April 2024: A delegation from Hamas is scheduled to visit Cairo on Monday to deliver the movement's response to Egyptian and Qatari mediators regarding a recent ceasefire proposal in Gaza, along with a proposed prisoner swap deal.

Led by Khalil Al-Hayya, the Deputy Chairman of Hamas in Gaza, the delegation aims to engage in talks aimed at securing a ceasefire in Gaza.

The visit takes place amidst ongoing protests in Tel Aviv, where pressure mounts on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to accept a deal with Hamas for the release of over 100 hostages still held by Hamas.

In recent days, Hamas has been reviewing an Israeli counterproposal for a prisoner release and ceasefire agreement in Gaza, following discussions held by a high-level Egyptian delegation regarding an Egyptian proposal to halt the war.

Israel's extremist Finance Minister, Bezalel Smotrich, has urged Netanyahu not to compromise on the planned invasion of Rafah city in Gaza.

Israel said earlier it will move forward with this operation despite widespread rejection from the international community, particularly Egypt, as it shares a border with the city.

Last week, Head of Egypt’s State Information Service (SIS) Diaa Rashwan said the Rafah operation will not succeed in bringing back captives or eliminating Hamas, but will rather threaten Egypt-Israel peace.

Smotrich described giving up on the Rafah invasion in line with Egypt's recent proposals as a defeat for Israel, implying that Netanyahu's government should no longer continue in its duties in this case.

According to Al Qahera News, the Egyptian proposal entails the release of 20-40 captives currently held by Hamas in Gaza, in exchange for Palestinian security prisoners serving lengthy sentences or who are elderly.

The Egyptian proposal includes a ceasefire and daily prisoner swaps throughout the truce period, as well as the suspension of a ground invasion in Rafah and the provision of adequate aid to Gaza.

Reports indicate that the Egyptian truce proposal in Gaza also encompasses the establishment of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders.

In recent months, Egypt, the US, and Qatar have acted as mediators between Hamas and Israel, striving to achieve a ceasefire agreement that allows for increased aid delivery and secures the release of more than 100 captives still held by Hamas.

Despite successive rounds of talks in Paris, Doha, and Cairo, a concrete deal has yet to be brokered, as significant gaps persist between Hamas and Israel.

The relentless Israeli airstrikes since October 7 have resulted in the deaths of over 34,000 Palestinians, with more than 77,000 injured, plunging the region into one of the most severe humanitarian crises in the world.



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