News Ticker

Hamas officials in Egypt for truce talks

Posted On: 14-02-2024 | Politics
News Main Image

Cairo / PNN/


Negotiations to halt Israel’s attack on Gaza and free captives head into a second day in Cairo.

A Hamas source told AFP news agency a delegation is in the Egyptian capital to meet Egyptian and Qatari mediators, after Israeli negotiators held talks with them on Tuesday.

CIA Director William Burns and David Barnea, head of Israel’s Mossad intelligence service, attended those discussions, which Egyptian media said had been mostly “positive”. US National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby described the negotiations as “constructive and moving in the right direction”.

Mediators are racing to secure a stop to the fighting before Israel proceeds with a full-scale ground incursion into Gaza’s southernmost city of Rafah, where more than 1.4 million Palestinians are trapped.

The White House urged Israel on Monday to work towards a ceasefire in Gaza, allowing for the release of more hostages held by the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) and facilitating the rapid flow of humanitarian aid to Palestinian civilians. John Kirby, spokesperson for the National Security Council at the White House, said in a statement to journalists that some progress has been made in humanitarian ceasefire negotiations, but there is still more work to be done.

Kirby stated, "We continue to support a long-term cessation of hostilities for humanitarian purposes." His remarks came a day after U.S. President Joe Biden called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, informing him that any military operation in Rafah should not proceed without a plan to protect civilians there.

Kirby welcomed reports that the Israeli army had freed two hostages in a special forces operation in Rafah, southern Gaza. He emphasized that the Gaza crisis will not end until Hamas releases all hostages.

The "Axios" News website reported that Netanyahu told Biden during their phone call on Sunday that, "contrary to some reports in the Israeli press," he wants to reach a new hostage deal. However, he emphasized that the agreement must be passable in the Israeli government, according to US and Israeli officials.

Netanyahu pointed out that the proposal, agreed upon by the United States, Israel, Qatar, and Egypt in Paris two weeks ago, is "very generous" because Tel Aviv agreed to more than ten times the number of days for the ceasefire than in the first part of the previous hostage deal. The Paris proposal includes a six-week ceasefire in exchange for releasing about 40 hostages in the first phase of the agreement.

According to Netanyahu, Israel is prepared to release three Palestinians for each Israeli hostage released, using the same ratio as in the previous agreement, according to US and Israeli officials.

The officials stated that Biden agreed with Netanyahu that Hamas's demand is excessive, but due to the nature of the negotiations, Israel may be forced to release more Palestinian prisoners at a higher rate than in the previous deal.

"Axios" quoted a knowledgeable US official as saying, "The ratio is still a pending issue," adding that "no fixed positions on the call have been discussed by either of the leaders, aside from possible tracks."

The office of the Israeli Prime Minister declined to comment on the "Axios" report.



Share this news !

All rights reserved for Palestine News Network PNN © 2024

Designed and developed by Element Media