Hamas war-min

Talks over a Gaza ceasefire between Hamas and the CIA head are underway in Cairo

  • Prior to now, senior Hamas official charged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with attempting to thwart negotiated ceasefire in Gaza.

CAIRO: The CIA director was already in Cairo for the covert diplomacy when Hamas negotiators started stepped-up discussions on Saturday on a potential Gaza truce that would see an end to hostilities and the release of some captives to Israel, a Hamas official told Reuters.

The delegation from Hamas arrived from the political office of the Palestinian Islamist movement in Qatar. Egypt and Hamas have attempted to mediate a continuation of the temporary ceasefire that was in place in November, despite growing international outrage over the increasing number of deaths in Gaza and the predicament of its 2.3 million citizens.
Meetings with Egyptian and Qatari mediators have started, according to Taher Al-Nono, a Hamas official and advisor to Hamas chairman Ismail Haniyeh. Hamas is addressing their recommendations “with full seriousness and responsibility.”
He did, however, restate the group’s insistence that any agreement must include Israel’s earlier rejections of an end to the conflict and its withdrawal from Gaza.

In addition to the reconstruction and lifting of the blockade, the Hamas official told Reuters that “any agreement to be reached must include our national demands; the complete and permanent ending of the aggression, the full and complete withdrawal of the occupation from Gaza Strip, the return of the displaced to their homes without restriction and a real prisoner swap deal.”

“Israel will under no circumstances agree to ending the war as part of a deal to free our hostages,” an Israeli official said, signaling that the country’s fundamental attitude on the matter remained unaltered.
An Israeli official stated, “Israel will under no circumstances agree to ending the war as part of a deal to free our hostages,” indicating that the nation’s core stance on the subject remained unchanged.

According to Gaza’s health ministry, Israel’s military assault has resulted in more than 34,600 Palestinian deaths—32 of them in the last 24 hours—and more than 77,000 injuries. Much of the coastal enclave has been destroyed by the bombing.


Before the negotiations started, there was hope for a possible agreement.

A Palestinian official with knowledge of the mediation efforts told Reuters, “Things look better this time but whether an agreement is on hand would depend on whether Israel has offered what it takes for that to happen.” The individual asked not to be identified.
Washington has pushed for it to make a deal; it considers Hamas a terrorist organization, just like Israel and other Western nations do.
However, progress has been hampered by Hamas’s persistent insistence that Israel promise to halt the onslaught. The group maintains that following any truce, Israel would restart its efforts to disarm and demolish the group.

After reviewing the most recent settlement proposal, which has not been made public to much extent, Hamas declared on Friday that it will arrive in Cairo in a “positive spirit”.

According to one source, Israel has tentatively approved agreements that called for the release of hundreds of Palestinian inmates and a weeks-long ceasefire in exchange for the return of 20–33 hostages.

There would then be about 100 prisoners in Gaza, some of whom Israel claims have passed away while being held captive. According to the anonymous source, who wished to remain anonymous due to privacy concerns, their return could necessitate a further agreement including more significant concessions from Israel.

“Unless Israel somehow recovers them through force or generates enough military pressure to make Hamas relent,” the source added, “that could entail a de facto, if not formal, end to the war.”

CIA Director William Burns landed in Cairo on Friday, according to Egyptian sources. He participated in past truce negotiations, and Washington has hinted that things could move forward this time.

Regarding Burns’ trip, the CIA declined to comment.
In response to fears of an Israeli attack on Hamas in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, where over a million Palestinians have sought refuge close to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, Egypt put forward a fresh effort to resume talks at the end of last month.

According to UN sources, a significant Israeli offensive in Rafah may severely damage the precarious humanitarian operations in Gaza and endanger a great number of lives. Israel says it is developing a strategy to evacuate residents and will not be stopped from finally capturing Rafah.
According to an individual familiar with Doha’s thinking, the meetings in Cairo on Saturday take place as Qatar reevaluates its position as a mediator. The official stated that Qatar may stop housing the Hamas political office. However, he was unsure if this would also mean that the representatives of the Palestinian organization would have to depart.

Scroll to Top