April 13, 2024

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Hamas officials arrive in Cairo for truce talks in Gaza, but there is no sign of Israel's presence News of the Israeli war on Gaza

Hamas officials arrive in Cairo for truce talks in Gaza, but there is no sign of Israel's presence  News of the Israeli war on Gaza

Israel prevented its delegation from Cairo because Hamas rejected one of its demands, according to an Israeli media report.

Hamas officials arrived in Cairo, Egypt, for talks on securing a truce in the Gaza war after a US official indicated that Israel had agreed to a framework for a temporary ceasefire and exchange of Israeli hostages and Palestinian prisoners.

Hamas representatives arrived in Cairo on Sunday, but by early evening there was no delegation from Israel to participate in the talks mediated by envoys from Qatar, Egypt and the United States, and Israeli media reported that Israel did not send a team after the Palestinian movement refused to participate. Share the list of prisoners still alive in the besieged area.

The Israeli website Ynet quoted unidentified Israeli officials as saying: “There is no Israeli delegation in Cairo.” He added: “Hamas refuses to provide clear answers, and therefore there is no reason to send the Israeli delegation.”

There was no immediate comment from Israeli officials.

A senior Hamas official told Al Jazeera that the movement’s delegation is in Cairo “to meet with the Egyptian and Qatari brothers and to present the movement’s vision.” He said that whether the occupation delegation arrives in Cairo or not does not matter to us.

A source familiar with the talks told Reuters news agency the day before that Israel could stay away from Cairo unless Hamas first presents a list of prisoners.

A Palestinian source told the agency that Hamas has so far rejected this request.

A US official had previously said that Israel had agreed to a framework for a truce agreement for discussion in Cairo.

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“There is a framework agreement. The Israelis have accepted it in one way or another,” a senior US official in President Joe Biden’s administration said on Saturday.

The American official said that the framework proposal includes a six-week ceasefire, in addition to Hamas releasing prisoners who are considered vulnerable, including the sick, wounded, the elderly, and women.

Israel and Hamas have made several demands amid increasing pressure from the United States to conclude an agreement on a truce that will take effect before the beginning of Ramadan, expected on March 10 or 11.

The framework mentioned by the American official could lead to the first extended truce in the war that has been ongoing since October 7, with a pause for only a week in November. But it will fall short of meeting Hamas's main demand for a permanent end to the war.

Al Jazeera's Tariq Abu Azoum in Rafah, southern Gaza, said that Hamas continues to demand that Israel agree to “full military withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, as well as the full return of people to the north.”

A potential truce agreement would also see the release of prisoners held by Hamas in exchange for the release of Palestinian detainees. The agreement could also lead to increased aid deliveries at a time when aid agencies have warned that many Palestinians in Gaza are on the verge of starvation.

The war began on October 7 when Hamas attacked Israel, killing 1,139 people and taking 253 hostage, according to Israeli officials. Israel responded with a devastating bombardment and ground invasion of Gaza that killed more than 30,400 people, according to Palestinian officials. The Israeli attack led to the leveling of large parts of the besieged territories to the ground and the displacement of more than 80% of the population.

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