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Talks for Gaza cease-fire, hostage release to resume next week: Israeli public broadcaster

May 26, 2024 at 9:52 am

Smoke rises from the region following the Israeli attacks on various areas in Rafah city, near the Egyptian border, Gaza on May 25, 2024. [Ali Jadallah – Anadolu Agency]

Negotiations between Israel and Palestinian group Hamas for release of hostages and a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip will resume next week, Israeli public broadcaster reported on Saturday, Anadolu Agency reports.

According to the state broadcaster, head of the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad David Barnea has returned from Paris where he met on Friday CIA director William Burns, and Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed Abdul Rahman Al Thani.

After the meeting, Israel announced that negotiations for the deal will resume next week, the broadcaster said, adding that Barnea also presented a new proposal.

Through the mediation of Qatar, Egypt, and the US, Hamas and Israel have been engaged in stalled indirect negotiations for months, aiming to reach an agreement to exchange hostages and end the war on Gaza that erupted on Oct. 7, 2023.

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Israel has killed nearly 36,000 Palestinians since a cross-border attack by Hamas that claimed 1,200 lives and 250 others were taken as hostages. Some of the caprives were released in exchange of a brief truce and release of Palestinian prisoners in November.

More than seven months into the conflict, vast swathes of Gaza lay in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine.

Israel is accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, which has mandated Tel Aviv to prevent its forces from committing such acts, and ensure humanitarian aid reaches civilians in Gaza. In its latest ruling on Friday, the UN court ordered Israel to halt its offensive in the southern city of Rafah, which it started on May 6.

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