Gaza ceasefire talks expected to resume soon with new Egypt-Qatar-led proposals: Reuters



Sat, 25 May 2024 - 09:38 GMT


Sat, 25 May 2024 - 09:38 GMT

Destruction caused by the ongoing Israeli war in Gaza - WAFA

Destruction caused by the ongoing Israeli war in Gaza - WAFA

CAIRO – 25 May 2024: Indirect talks between Israel and Hamas to establish a ceasefire in Gaza and negotiate a prisoner swap agreement are anticipated to commence this week, an official familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Sources cited in Israeli reports on Saturday also indicated the likelihood of talks resuming in the following week.

The negotiations will focus on new proposals led by Egyptian and Qatari mediators, with active involvement from the United States, as stated by the anonymous source, who declined to disclose their name or nationality.

However, a Hamas official refuted Israeli media reports claiming that the talks would resume in Cairo on Tuesday, stating to Reuters, "there is no date."

These reports come in the wake of a visit by Israeli Mossad Director David Barnea to Paris, where he discussed the resurgence of truce talks with Qatar's Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani and CIA Director William Burns.

The Times of Israel anticipates the participation of Egyptian negotiators in the upcoming truce talks next week.

A high-level source told Al Qahera News today that Egypt is conducting efforts to reactivate talks for a ceasefire and a prisoner swap agreement.

Obstructing talks

Efforts to reach a truce in Gaza have stalled in recent weeks amid Israel's military operations in the southern city of Rafah, which have been met with global condemnation.

Meanwhile, Israel has shown a significant shift in position regarding the talks after weeks of avoidance.

Axios reports that Israeli negotiators have recently developed a new ceasefire proposal, which includes substantial compromises in Israel's stance.

The new Israeli proposal involves further negotiations on the number of captives to be released by Hamas and addresses Hamas' demand for "sustainable calm."

Israel has been facing mounting global pressures, especially after the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ordered Israel on Friday to immediately halt its military operation in Rafah, in response to an urgent request by South Africa.

The ICJ ruling mandates Israel to open the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza to facilitate the delivery of aid.

Israel also faces increasing legal pressure, including a request made on Monday by the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court to issue arrest warrants for Israeli and Hamas leaders, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The warrant requests are based on allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Gaza.

Israel rejected a proposal for ceasefire, which was put forward by Egyptian and Qatari mediators, and was accepted by Hamas on May 6.

This has instilled fear among the Israeli public that time may be running out for around 100 hostages still held by Hamas in Gaza.

Subsequently, Israeli streets have seen widespread protests, including by the families of the victims, putting additional pressure on the Israeli government.

The major point of contention between Hamas and Israel in recent months has been Hamas' desire for a deal that ensures an end to the war and the return of displaced individuals to their homes in northern Gaza without restrictions.

While Israel has shown willingness to meet the second demand, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stated that Israel will not accept a deal with Hamas that ends the war before dismantling the military capabilities of the group.

Withdrawal warning

This week, Egypt issued a warning to withdraw from its mediation role between Israel and Hamas following a report by CNN accusing Egyptian negotiators of presenting different ceasefire proposals to each side.

Diaa Rashwan, the head of Egypt's State Information Service (SIS), stated that attempts to question Egypt's mediation role could lead to its withdrawal from the current mediation process.

Rashwan emphasized that casting doubt or insulting Egypt's role will only serve to further complicate the situation in the Gaza Strip and the entire region.

The war in Gaza has resulted in one of the world's most severe humanitarian crises, with the majority of the population displaced, infrastructure damaged, and the strip on the verge of famine.

Since October 7, the Israeli war has killed over 35,900 Palestinian lives and injured more than 80,000 others, according to the health ministry in Gaza on Saturday.



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