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Hamas delegation heads to Cairo to discuss Gaza ceasefire

April 6, 2024 at 2:57 pm

Member of Hamas’ political bureau Khalil Al-Hayya in Gaza, 30 August 2018 [Mohammed Asad/Middle East Monitor]

The Palestinian group Hamas announced on Saturday that a leading delegation from the movement will head to Cairo on Sunday in response to an Egyptian invitation to discuss cease-fire developments in the Gaza Strip, Anadolu reports.

“A leadership delegation from Hamas headed by Khalil Al-Hayya will head tomorrow, Sunday, to Cairo, in response to the call of our brothers in Egypt,” the movement said in a statement.

Hamas confirmed its adherence to its position presented on March 14.

“The demands of our people and national forces are for a permanent ceasefire, the withdrawal of the (Israeli) occupation forces from Gaza, the return of the displaced to their places of residence, freedom of movement, relief and shelter, in addition to a serious hostage exchange deal,” Hamas said.

On Friday, a US administration official said President Joe Biden recently sent two special letters to Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi and the Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani related to accelerating cease-fire negotiations, according to US media.

The official said Biden called on Egypt and Qatar in his letters to “pressure Hamas to accelerate ceasefire negotiations.”

This coincides with news of an upcoming meeting by CIA Director Bill Burns with senior officials from Qatar, Egypt, and Israel in Cairo to discuss the issue of prisoner exchange between Israel and Hamas.

Read: Why does the Biden administration not want a ceasefire in Gaza?

According to American media, CIA Director Burns is expected to visit Cairo at the end of this week.

There was no immediate comment from Cairo or Doha regarding the resumption of negotiations Sunday.

Israel has waged a deadly military offensive on the Gaza Strip since a cross-border attack in early October by the Palestinian group, Hamas, killed less than 1,200 people.

More than 33,100 Palestinians have since been killed and over 75,800 injured amid mass destruction and shortages of necessities.

Israel has also 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% of Gaza’s population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water, and medicine, while 60% of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel is accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, which last week asked it to do more to prevent famine in Gaza.