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Hamas Leader in Egypt: Prospects Rise for Truce and Prisoner Swap with Israel

December 20, 2023
Photo Source: Reuters

Amidst the ongoing war on Palestine, Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyeh, visited Egypt on Wednesday 20 December, signaling potential progress in securing a truce and organizing another prisoner exchange. 

Sources indicated that Haniyeh’s discussions with Egyptian officials, including intelligence chief Abbas Kamel, will center around “facilitating the delivery of humanitarian aid, the withdrawal of the Israeli army from the Gaza Strip, the release of prisoners, the potential resolution of the long-standing blockade, and the repatriation of displaced individuals to their hometowns and villages in the north.”

Haniyeh’s visit marked his second to Egypt since the commencement of the war on Palestine on 7 October, following a previous trip in early November.

Haniyeh’s presence in Egypt rekindles hopes for stopping the war in Palestine. The discussions demonstrate a willingness to find a solution. 

Also, a source with proximity to the Islamic Jihad group, which collaborates with Hamas in Gaza, informed AFP that Ziad Nakhaleh, the group’s leader, is anticipated to be in Cairo early next week for discussions.


After a surprise attack conducted on 7 October by Hamas on a number of southern Israeli towns which resulted in the deaths of an estimated 1,200 people and more than 220 being taken hostage by Hamas, Israel launched a retaliatory bombing campaign against what it describes as ‘terrorist targets’ in the Gaza Strip.

Over 19,000 Palestinians have been killed in the Gaza Strip — including nearly 8,000 children — and over 50,000 others injured. Meanwhile, at least 259 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank and at least 3,365 have been injured.

The priority of the Egyptian government since the beginning of the conflict has been de-escalation and the securing of a path for aid to enter the Gaza Strip through the Rafah crossing. Israel bombed the crossing at least six times, and limited aid trucks have crossed to Gaza so far, which UN officials warn is insufficient amid dire humanitarian conditions.

Most Western countries, with the United States at the forefront, have expressed unconditional support for Israel, despite the steadily rising death toll in Gaza. Meanwhile, the United Nations General Assembly has issued a resolution calling for a ceasefire.

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