Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Israel-Hamas war: Mossad Chief to reach Cairo for ceasefire talks

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Shillong, February 13: Israel’s spy agency Mossad chief David Barnea will reach Cairo this week for a peace talk with third party negotiators including the US, Qatar and Egypt for ceasefire between Israel and Hamas for release of hostages.

Barnea will meet senior leaders of Qatar and Egypt in Cairo for the proposed ceasefire which will also lead to release of Israeli hostages held in Gaza by the Hamas.

There was scepticism on the peace talks and reports that Egypt would back out of the negotiations after Israel troops entered the Rafah border, but the Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukri categorically denied such speculations and said that peace talks were on as planned.

US President Joe Biden also said that his country has put up a proposal for a six week ceasefire and release of hostages and added that the proposal is being discussed actively.

The current bottleneck for the proposed ceasefire is the insistence of Hamas for a permanent ceasefire rather than a six week ceasefire put forward by international meditators.

There are intelligence reports of a fallout between top leaders of Hamas with the likes of Ismael Haniyeh and Khalid Mashel pitching for a temporary truce while those in Gaza including Yahya Simwar and Mohammed Deif, the alleged architects of October 7 massacre, wanting a permanent truce.

Israel has also agreed for the release of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails that include those charged with serious offenses including terror attacks against the country.

Since the commencement of war between Hamas and Israel on October 7, a week-long ceasefire was implemented from November 24 to December 1, during which 105 hostages in Hamas custody were released.

A total of 324 Palestinians lodged in Israeli prisons were also released as part of the deal. However, the Palestinians who were then released were mainly women and children.

A total of 134 Israelis are still in the custody of Hamas, of which, 28 have been confirmed dead by Israel intelligence agencies and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). (IANS)

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