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Quadripartite meeting kicks off in Paris to discuss Gaza ceasefire, hostage swap

February 23, 2024 at 5:15 pm

People gather with Palestinian flags and banners for a Pro-Palestinian protest in front of Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs building in Paris, France on February 22, 2024 [Mohamad Alsayed/Anadolu via Getty Images]

Egypt, Qatar, the US and Israel began talks in the French capital, Paris, on Friday to discuss a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip as well as a prisoner swap deal between Palestinian Resistance group, Hamas, and Tel Aviv, Egyptian media reports.

Delegations from Egypt, Qatar, the US and Israel met in Paris to discuss a ceasefire in Gaza and a prisoner swap deal, Al-Qahera News channel reported, without providing further details, Anadolu Agency reports.

On 7 February, Hamas proposed a three-stage plan for a Gaza ceasefire that included a 135-day pause in fighting to carry out a hostage swap deal, according to a Palestinian source.

The original framework agreement was hammered out during a meeting in the French capital last month of top officials from the US, Israel, Qatar and Egypt.

Israel believes that there are 134 Israelis being held in Gaza after the Israeli army managed, last week, to free two Israelis held in the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.

Israel has pounded the Gaza Strip since a 7 October cross-border attack by the Palestinian group, Hamas. The ensuing Israeli war has killed more than 29,500 people and caused mass destruction and shortages of necessities.

The Israeli war on Gaza has pushed 85 per cent of the Territory’s population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60 per cent of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

For the first time since its creation in 1948, Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, the highest judicial body of the United Nations, over its Gaza war.

An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

READ: UN Rights chief deplores ‘entrenched impunity’ in Israel-Palestine war