Moment of Truth – Delegations Meet in Cairo to Discuss Gaza Ceasefire Details

Hamas and Israel are considering a ceasefire proposal. (Image: Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Desperate to block a potential ceasefire with the Palestinian Resistance, Netanyahu has been leaking information to Israeli media. His plot has been uncovered, and the moment of truth for his government has arrived.

The Gaza ceasefire talks are expected to continue in Cairo on Sunday amid reports of progress in some aspects of the negotiations.

Israel, however, has so far refrained from sending a delegation to the talks, Israeli media reported, pending an official response from the Palestinian Resistance Movement Hamas to the latest version of the ceasefire proposal.

Citing US officials, the US news network, CNN reported that the American side is following the talks with cautious optimism after previous efforts collapsed at the last minute.

The network said negotiators had made progress on the technical aspects of the potential deal, but quoted two Israeli officials as saying it could take a week to agree on final details.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that there are indeed US guarantees to Hamas for a full Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and an end to the war once its detainees are released.

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Delegations in Cairo

The Hamas delegation arrived in Cairo on Saturday. A Qatari delegation had traveled to Cairo as well, Al-Jazeera news channel confirmed. 

Meanwhile, US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said he had been in contact with CIA Director William Burns, who is in Cairo to participate in the negotiations.

Speaking at a panel discussion organized by the Financial Times newspaper, Sullivan said that the US administration is waiting for an official response from Hamas through Egyptian and Qatari mediators.

For its part, Hamas, told the Qatari-based Al-Jazeera that the group would not agree in any way to an agreement that does not explicitly include a halt to the war on Gaza.

The source stated that “the Zionist entity seeks the framework of an agreement to recover its prisoners without linking this to the end of aggression,” stressing that the Resistance “is entrusted with (guarding) the sacrifices of our people.”

He added that Hamas had information indicating that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was blocking an agreement for personal calculations.

Hussam Badran, a member of Hamas’ political bureau, spoke with a degree of optimism, suggesting that what was presented to the movement’s delegation in Cairo in this round of talks was better than what was presented in previous rounds.

He pointed out that the movement does not communicate with the US administration directly, but through mediators “because it is a non-neutral party, but rather is (a direct participant) in the battle.”

“We have demanded the inclusion of Turkey and Russia as guarantors of any agreement with the Israeli occupation,” he said.

On the Israeli side, Israeli media quoted journalists as saying that Netanyahu was issuing statements opposing the possible deal under the cover of a diplomatic official. 

According to the reports, though Netanyahu often accuses his political opponents of leaking information, it was him that largely released sensitive information to serve his own political agenda. 

The Jerusalem Post said Israeli journalists had decided to expose Netanyahu and his political game aimed at blocking the prisoner exchange deal.

For example, the ‘unnamed official’ who threatened to enter Rafah despite any deal, was Netanyahu himself, according to Israeli media. 

Earlier, Israeli media channels and newspapers had circulated a statement by an unnamed Israeli “political source” in which he said that Tel Aviv “will not agree to end the war within (the framework) of any deal with Hamas.”

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Israeli Intransigence

Meanwhile, the Israel Broadcasting Corporation (KAN) said Israel would not send a delegation to Cairo to continue negotiations before receiving Hamas’s response to the current proposal.

KAN quoted an Israeli official as saying that Tel Aviv did not want to commit to sending a delegation before it saw flexibility from Hamas.

Israeli media said the War Council would meet this evening to discuss the latest developments.

Netanyahu continues to face accusations from within his War Council, the country’s political opposition and prisoners’ families of prioritizing his political interests by stalling a deal to take back Israeli prisoners in Gaza.

The families of the Israeli prisoners today sent a message to Netanyahu saying that “it is time to take responsibility, show courage and ignore political pressure.”

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“History will not forgive you for missing this opportunity to return detainees,” the families added.

While Netanyahu insists on continuing the war even after a possible exchange, Hamas stipulates that any agreement must lead to the cessation of Israeli aggression and the withdrawal of occupation forces from the Gaza Strip.

Gaza Genocide 

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7.  

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 34,654 Palestinians have been killed, and 77,908 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 11,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip. 

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli war has resulted in an acute famine, mostly in northern Gaza, resulting in the death of many Palestinians, mostly children.  

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The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire’. 

(The Palestine Chronicle) 

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