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Israel negotiators set to return from Egypt after Gaza ceasefire talks

April 2, 2024 at 4:24 pm

The national flag of Egypt [Getty]

Israel’s negotiating team is set to return from Egypt on Tuesday following talks on a deal for a Gaza ceasefire and hostage swap with Hamas, Anadolu Agency reports.

In a statement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office described Egypt-hosted negotiations as “effective”.

“During the negotiations, with the effective mediation of Egypt, the mediators put together an updated proposal for Hamas to address,” the statement said.

“Israel expects the mediators to act more forcefully against Hamas to move the negotiations forward toward a deal,” it added.

The Israeli team at the talks which kicked off on Sunday included representatives from the Mossad intelligence service, the Shin Bet domestic security agency and the Israeli army.

Egypt, along with Qatar and the US, is mediating between Hamas and Israel to reach an agreement for a Gaza ceasefire and hostage-prisoner swap.

READ: Netanyahu approves Rafah attack plans despite international warnings

Hamas is estimated to be holding more than 130 Israeli hostages, while Tel Aviv is holding more than 9,100 Palestinians in its jails.

Hamas demands an end to Israel’s deadly offensive on the Gaza Strip and the withdrawal of the Israeli forces from the Territory for any hostage-prisoner swap deal with Tel Aviv.

Israel has waged a deadly military offensive on the Gaza Strip since a 7 October cross-border attack by Hamas which killed some 1,200 people.

However, since then, it has been revealed by Haaretz that helicopters and tanks of the Israeli army had, in fact, killed many of the 1,139 soldiers and civilians claimed by Israel to have been killed by the Palestinian Resistance.

More than 32,900 Palestinians have since been killed and 75,494 others injured amid mass destruction and shortages of necessities. Israel has imposed a crippling blockade on the Gaza Strip, leaving its population, particularly residents of northern Gaza, on the verge of starvation.

The Israeli war has pushed 85 per cent of Gaza’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.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) which, on Thursday, asked Israel to do more to prevent famine in Gaza.

READ: Arab League to convene emergency meeting about ‘ongoing genocide in Gaza’