Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Israel-Hamas war: Talks in Cairo continue for a six week ceasefire


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Shillong, April 30: The indirect talks between Hamas and Israel are progressing in Cairo with Egyptian and Qatari mediators taking the lead.

The talks that commenced on Monday are continuing on Tuesday. According to sources in the Israeli Defence Ministry, the negotiations are on a positive path. After Israel reduced the number of hostages to be released from 40 to 33, the possibility of a six-week ceasefire is high.

The Hamas side has demanded the release of around 600 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. Some of the Palestinian prisoners whose names figure in the list of prisoners submitted by Hamas are charged with serious offences, including murder.

Israel has already publicly stated that if Hamas backs out of this discussion in Cairo, it would lead to an Israeli ground offensive in the Rafah region of the Gaza Strip.

Around 1.3 million Palestinians inhabit the Rafah area. Egypt President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi had expressed his concern about an Israeli military action in Rafah and the possibility of a huge exodus of refugees to the Sinai region that borders Rafah.

Egyptian intelligence head Major General Abbas Kamel during his recent visit to Israel had expressed concern about a Rafah operation.

Meanwhile, the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who is in Saudi Arabia for a two-day visit, is overseeing the mediatory talks between Hamas and Israel. (IANS)


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