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Mediators Reconvene in Cairo for Gaza Ceasefire Talks

March 3, 2024
Photo Source: USNews

Israeli and Hamas delegations are expected to reconvene in Cairo on Sunday 3 March to resume talks aimed at achieving a lasting ceasefire in Gaza, according to two Egyptian security sources with knowledge of the negotiations. 

However, The Times of Israel has reported that Israel will not send a delegation until it receives a full list of Israeli hostages who are still alive as a key condition for Israel’s agreement to a ceasefire.

The talks, which have been mediated by Qatar and Egypt, seek to find a solution that is acceptable to both Israel and Hamas. 

To address the worsening humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, Egypt, UAE, Jordan, Qatar, and France, conducted a series of airdrops on Monday 26 and Tuesday 27 February, delivering crucial aid supplies. 

The United States also initiated the first in a planned sequence of humanitarian food airdrops into Gaza on Saturday 2 March. 

US President Joe Biden has expressed hope that a ceasefire will be in place by the start of Ramadan, which falls on 10 March. 

While gaps remain in bridging the differences between the parties, assurances have been offered to Hamas regarding the terms of a permanent ceasefire. The initial pause, expected to last about six weeks, has been agreed upon, but Hamas has yet to respond to whether the assurances are sufficient to move forward with this temporary truce.

The completion of a truce deal also hinges on the withdrawal of Israeli forces from northern Gaza and the return of displaced residents. Israel has emphasized the need for Hamas to clarify the number of hostages slated for release and how many are still alive. 

A draft proposal has outlined progress on various issues, including a proposed ratio of Palestinian prisoners to be released in exchange for each hostage.

In addition to addressing the conflict, the draft proposal includes a commitment to increase humanitarian aid to Gaza, where shortages of food and medicine have become crippling. 

The talks have been further complicated by an incident on Thursday February 29 in which scores of Palestinians were killed by Israel Defense Forces (IDF) troops as they waited for aid near Gaza City.

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