Hamas Leader Concludes Talks in Cairo on Ceasefire; International Mediation Continues

By Yoni Weiss

Hamas Chief Ismail Haniyeh. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90/File)

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh has concluded discussions in Cairo with Egyptian officials regarding a potential ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and the release of the remaining Israeli hostages held by the group. The talks, which included high-level Egyptian intelligence chief Abbas Kamel, aimed to find a resolution to the ongoing war.

Despite diplomatic efforts, Hamas has not revealed whether the discussions resulted in significant progress or a breakthrough. The Cairo talks occurred ahead of an anticipated high-level meeting in Paris, where international mediators plan to propose a new plan for securing the release of Israeli hostages held by Hamas.

The United States, Egypt, and Qatar have actively engaged in efforts to find a viable solution to end the conflict between Israel and Hamas. However, a pressing deadline looms as the Muslim month of Ramadan approaches.

Israel has expressed its desire for a phased agreement, involving a temporary cessation of hostilities in exchange for the release of some of the 134 hostages held by Hamas since the Oct. 7 terror attack in southern Israel. Israel remains committed to continuing military operations until Hamas is decisively defeated, and its control over the Palestinian enclave is dismantled.

Initially, Hamas insisted on an immediate end to the conflict before considering the release of hostages. The group also demanded the release of all Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails in exchange for the Israeli hostages. However, Israel rejected this demand, leading to ongoing negotiations mediated by international parties.

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