Latest round of Gaza peace talks to resume today

Negotiators have proposed a 40-day pause in the fighting and an exchange of hostages for Palestinian prisoners


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Published: Sun 5 May 2024, 10:38 AM

Talks to negotiate a truce in Gaza were expected to resume Sunday (May 5), following Hamas' rejection of any agreement that would not put an end to the conflict in Palestinian territory and its accusation that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was "personally hindering" the deal.

Negotiators seeking to halt the devastating seven-month war have proposed a 40-day pause in the fighting and an exchange of hostages for Palestinian prisoners, according to details released by Britain.

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Qatari, Egyptian and US mediators met a Hamas delegation in Cairo on Saturday and a senior Hamas source close to the negotiations told AFP there would be "a new round" of talks on Sunday.

Each side blamed the other for stalled negotiations, with a senior Hamas official insisting late Saturday that the group would "not agree under any circumstances" to a truce that did not explicitly include a complete end to the war, including Israel's withdrawal from Gaza.

A top Israeli official said earlier that Hamas was "thwarting the possibility of reaching an agreement" by refusing to give up its demand for an end to the war.

Israel has not agreed to any guarantees that the war will end, the official told AFP in Jerusalem.

Despite months of shuttle diplomacy, mediators have failed to broker a new truce like the week-long ceasefire that saw 105 hostages released last November in exchange for Palestinians held by Israel.

Previous negotiations stalled in part due to Hamas's demand for a lasting ceasefire and Netanyahu's repeated vows to crush the group's remaining fighters in the southern city of Rafah, which is flooded with displaced civilians.

Israel has yet to send a delegation to Cairo. The Israeli official said it would do so only if there was "positive movement" on the proposed framework.

"Tough and long negotiations are expected for an actual deal," the official added.

The war broke out following Hamas's unprecedented October 7 attack on Israel that resulted in the deaths of more than 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally of Israeli official figures.

Israel's retaliatory offensive against Hamas has killed at least 34,654 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the Hamas-run territory's health ministry.


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