Hopes Dim for Immediate Gaza Truce Deal as Israel-Hamas Talks Stumble in Cairo

Mon Apr 08 2024
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GAZA: Israel and Palestinian resistance group Hamas both dampened hopes on Monday of a speedy breakthrough in Cairo talks towards a Gaza truce and hostage release deal after Egyptian state-linked media had reported “significant progress”.

Both Israel and Hamas signaled challenges in reaching a ceasefire and hostage release agreement during talks in Cairo.

Egyptian state-linked media had initially reported “significant progress” in the negotiations, raising expectations for a breakthrough. However, subsequent statements from Israeli and Palestinian sources painted a more cautious picture, indicating lingering disagreements and obstacles to a speedy truce deal.

Despite mounting international pressure, including calls from the United States for a cessation of hostilities, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that Israel is “one step away from victory” in Gaza. However, the withdrawal of Israeli forces from southern Gaza was described as tactical, signaling a potential shift in strategy rather than an end to the conflict.

Negotiations in Cairo, attended by US, Qatari, and Egyptian mediators, aim to broker a ceasefire and secure the release of hostages held by Hamas. US President Joe Biden’s decision to dispatch CIA chief Bill Burns to the talks underscores the gravity of the situation and the urgency for a resolution.

While reports initially suggested progress in the discussions, Israeli officials cautioned against premature optimism, stating that significant gaps still exist between the parties. Hamas sources highlighted disagreements over the pace of displaced Palestinians returning to Gaza City.

Adding to the complexity of the situation, Netanyahu faces internal pressure from far-right allies who advocate for a more aggressive approach towards Palestinian resistance groups. National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir issued a warning against ending the war without a comprehensive attack on Rafah, underscoring the political challenges Netanyahu confronts in maintaining his parliamentary majority.

The prolonged conflict in Gaza has exacted a heavy toll on civilian populations, with thousands of Palestinians killed and widespread devastation to infrastructure. The dire humanitarian situation, compounded by a siege that has restricted access to essential supplies, underscores the urgency for a resolution to the crisis.

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