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Hamas, Qatari, US envoys in Cairo for Gaza talks


By AFP
Published : 03 Mar 2024 09:35 PM

Delegations from Hamas, Qatar and the United States have arrived in Egypt for "a new round of negotiations" toward a truce in the Gaza war, state-linked Al-Qahera News reported Sunday.

Cairo, Doha and Washington have mediated in weeks of talks aiming to pause the fighting in the almost five-months-old war between Israel and Hamas sparked by the October 7 attacks.

Their goal has been to secure a truce by the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan next week, but hopes have been dampened by a series of failed talks.

The negotiations have centred on a proposal to pause the fighting for six weeks and for Hamas to free hostages in return for the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails, and greater aid deliveries.

The war began on October 7 with an unprecedented Hamas attack on southern Israel that resulted in the deaths of about 1,160 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally of official figures.

Gaza militants also abducted 250 hostages, of whom 130 remain in captivity according to Israel, a figure that includes 31 presumed dead.

Israel's retaliatory offensive on the besieged Palestinian territory has killed 30,410 people, mostly women and children, the Gaza health ministry reported Sunday.