Cairo talks on Gaza ceasefire resume in presence of all parties



Thu, 09 May 2024 - 03:31 GMT


Thu, 09 May 2024 - 03:31 GMT

File- Citizens inspect the effects of destruction after occupation aircraft bombed a number of homes in Al-Maghazi Camp - Gaza

File- Citizens inspect the effects of destruction after occupation aircraft bombed a number of homes in Al-Maghazi Camp - Gaza

CAIRO – 9 May 2024: The Gaza ceasefire talks resumed in Cairo on Thursday with the participation of all parties, a source told Al Qahera News.


With the participation of the Palestinian factions of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and the Popular Front, the ceasefire negotiations will address the points of disagreement between Hamas and Israel.


Egypt’s security delegation has highlighted to all the participating parties the danger of escalating and failing to adhere to the negotiation path, an Egyptian high-level source said on Wednesday.


Both Israel and Hamas have been stripped of their “veto” power over the names of hostages and prisoners to be released in the swap deal, Hamas told Al-Arabiya on Wednesday.


“Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was aware of all the details of the ceasefire and swap deal proposal but was maneuvering to prolong the war,” Hamas stated.


Meanwhile, the Israeli Council of War had agreed to show flexibility in negotiations but Netanyahu unilaterally retracted that two weeks ago, Israeli media reported.


The Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza announced on Thursday that Israel has killed 34,904 Palestinians and injured 78,514 since October 7.


Further, Israeli forces launched on May 6 a limited ground operation in the Palestinian city of Rafah despite the international warnings, especially those by Egypt, Jordan and the United States of America. This operation resulted in closing the only operating border crossings of Rafah and Karam Abu Salem and, consequently, suspended the entry of humanitarian aid to the besieged Palestinians.


On May 6, the Hamas movement informed the Egyptian and Qatari mediators of the movement’s approval of the Egyptian proposal on a ceasefire agreement in the besieged Gaza Strip.


The movement’s approval came after intensified efforts made by Egypt and other international parties to contain the situation and prevent escalation when the Israeli army called on residents east of Rafah city in the Gaza Strip to evacuate the area immediately ahead of the ground offensive against the city.



First phase of Egypt’s proposal on Gaza ceasefire


The Egyptian proposal will be carried out on three phases; the first phase, spanning 42 days, involves the temporary cessation of mutual military operations between the two parties. This entails the withdrawal of Israeli forces from densely populated areas to a designated zone along the Gaza Strip border, encompassing regions such as the Gaza Valley, the Netzarim axis, and the Kuwaiti roundabout. Additionally, military aviation and reconnaissance activities in Gaza will cease for 10 hours daily, extended to 12 hours on days of detainee and prisoner releases. The phase also includes facilitating the return of displaced individuals to their areas of residence and the withdrawal from the Gaza Valley.


The first phase also stipulates that on the third day, following the release of three Israeli detainees, Israeli forces will fully withdraw from Al-Rashid Street, extending eastward to Salah Al-Din Street. They will also dismantle all military sites and installations within this area.


Simultaneously, the return of displaced Palestinians to their residences will commence, with a stipulation that they do not carry weapons during their return. Also, residents will enjoy unrestricted freedom of movement throughout the strip, and humanitarian aid will enter Al-Rashid Street unhindered from the first day.


On the 22nd day following the release of half of the detainees, including female soldiers, Israeli forces will withdraw from the central region of the strip, notably the Netzarim Martyrs axis and the Kuwaiti roundabout east of Salah al-Din Road. They will relocate to a nearby area along the border, dismantling all military sites and installations. Concurrently, displaced individuals will continue returning to their residences in the northern Gaza Strip, while freedom of movement for the population will be ensured across all areas of the Gaza Strip.


From the onset, a robust influx of humanitarian aid, relief materials, and fuel will be initiated. This will consist of 600 trucks per day, 500 of which will contain fuel supply, including 300 for the northern parts of the strip. Fuel provision will encompass requirements for electricity generation, commercial operations, as well as equipment necessary for rubble removal, hospital and health center rehabilitation, and bakery operations across all areas of the Gaza Strip. This continuous support will persist throughout all phases of the agreement.


The stage includes the exchange of detainees and prisoners between the two sides. Hamas will release 33 Israeli detainees - alive or dead - civilian women, female soldiers, children under the age of 19, the elderly over the age of 50, and the sick and wounded civilians, in exchange for numbers of Palestinian prisoners. So, Hamas will release all living Israeli detainees, including civilian women and children under the age of 19, other than soldiers, and Israel will release 30 children and women for every released Israeli detainee, from the lists that include the oldest arrests provided by Hamas.


The first phase additionally stipulates that Hamas would release all elderly Israeli detainees over the age of 50 as well as the sick and wounded civilians. In return, Israel will release 30 elderly and sick Palestinian prisoners over the age of 50 for every Israeli, based on lists of the oldest arrests provided by Hamas. Hamas would also release all the living female Israeli soldiers, and Israel will release 50 prisoners (including 30 sentenced to life terms, and 20 handed down 20 years in jail) for every Israeli female soldier released.


By the seventh day of this phase, Hamas would provide information on the numbers of Israeli detainees who will be released at this stage, while on the 22nd day, the Israeli side would release all the prisoners of the 2011 Prisoner Swap of “Shalit” deal who were re-arrested. In case that the number of living Israeli detainees intended to be released does not reach 33, the number of bodies of the same categories will be completed for this stage. In return, Israel will release all those who were arrested from the Gaza Strip after October 7, 2023, including women and children under the age of 19 years, provided that this is done during the fifth week of this stage.


The prisoner swap process depends upon the adherence to the terms outlined in the agreement. This includes the cessation of mutual military operations, the withdrawal of Israeli forces, the successful return of displaced Palestinians to their homes, and the unhindered entry of humanitarian aid. Additionally, it necessitates the completion of requisite legal procedures to ensure that released Palestinian prisoners are not re-arrested on the same charges they were previously detained for. Also, the terms include lifting the measures and penalties off prisoners and detainees taken in Israeli prisons and detention camps after October 7, 2023, and improving their conditions, including those who were arrested after this date, not later than the 16th day of the first phase.


Indirect discussions between the two parties on the details of the agreement’s second phase regarding the exchange of prisoners and detainees from both parties (soldiers and remaining men) shall be completed and agreed upon before the end of the fifth week of this phase.


As for humanitarian aid, the first phase stipulates that the United Nations and its agencies, including UNRWA and other international organizations, would provide humanitarian services in all areas of the Gaza Strip throughout the stages of the agreement. This is in addition to starting the rehabilitation of the infrastructure of electricity, water, sanitation, communications, and roads in all areas of the Gaza Strip. Also, equipment necessary for civil defense and the removal of rubble shall continue throughout the stages of the agreement, and the accommodation of the displaced who lost their homes during the war must be facilitated (at least 60,000 temporary homes - caravans - and 200,000 tents).


Since day one of this phase, an agreed-upon number - not less than 50 injured military personnel - will be allowed to travel through the Rafah crossing to receive medical treatment, while the number of the sick and wounded Palestinians passing through the Rafah crossing will increase. Additionally, restrictions on travelers will be lifted, and the movement of goods and trade will return without restrictions, allowing for the necessary arrangements and plans for the process of comprehensive reconstruction of homes, civilian facilities, and civilian infrastructure that were destroyed due to the war.  Those affected by the war shall be compensated under the supervision of a number of countries and organizations, including Egypt, Qatar, and the United Nations.


All measures at this stage include the temporary cessation of mutual military operations, while relief and shelter, and withdrawal of forces will continue in the second phase until a sustainable calm is declared.


The second phase of Egypt’s proposal


The second phase will span over 42 days. It includes the announcement of the return of sustainable calm - the cessation of military and hostile operations.


This ceasefire will come into effect prior to the initiation of the exchange of detainees and prisoners between the two parties. It entails the release of all remaining Israeli men—both civilians and soldiers—in exchange for a mutually agreed-upon number of prisoners held in Israeli prisons and detainees in Israeli detention camps.


It also involves the complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Gaza Strip.


The third phase of the proposal


The third phase, spanning over 42 days, involves the exchange of bodies and remains of the dead following their identification.


Simultaneously, the reconstruction plan for the Gaza Strip, slated for a period of 3 to 5 years, will be implemented. This comprehensive plan encompasses the rebuilding of homes, civilian facilities, and infrastructure, along with compensating all affected parties.


The execution of this plan will be supervised by several countries and organizations, including Egypt, Qatar, and the United Nations.


Additionally, the stage entails the cessation of the complete siege on the Gaza Strip, with oversight from guarantors of the agreement, Egypt, Qatar, the United States, and the United Nations.



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