Dis/agreement close? Hamas chief in Egypt for ceasefire talks: Top points | World News - Hindustan Times
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Dis/agreement close? Hamas chief in Egypt for ceasefire talks: Top points

Dec 20, 2023 02:52 PM IST

Israel-Hamas War: Ismail Haniyeh also met Iranian foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in Doha before arriving in Cairo.

Hamas's Qatar-based leader Ismail Haniyeh arrived in Cairo for talks on a ceasefire amid war with Israel in Gaza and a prisoner exchange. Ismail Haniyeh arrived "in the Egyptian capital Cairo to hold discussions with Egyptian officials over the developments of the Zionist (Israeli) aggression on the Gaza Strip and other matters", Hamas said in a statement as per news agency AFP.

Israel-Hamas War: Qatar-based Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh speaking to journalists.(AFP)
Israel-Hamas War: Qatar-based Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh speaking to journalists.(AFP)

Ismail Haniyeh also met Iranian foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in Doha before arriving in Cairo, it was earlier reported. Although, details on the meeting were meagre.

AFP reported, citing a source close to Hamas, that Ismail Haniyeh would head a "high-level" Hamas delegation to Egypt, where he is due to hold talks with Egyptian intelligence chief Abbas Kamel among others. The discussions will be "on stopping the aggression and the war to prepare an agreement for the release of prisoners (and) the end of the siege imposed on the Gaza Strip," the report claimed.

Read more: Malaysia bans shipping linked to Israel: 'Cruelty against Palestine…'

A source close to the Islamic Jihad group that fights alongside Hamas in Gaza told AFP that Hamas' leader Ziad Nakhaleh is also expected in Cairo early next week. Both groups posted videos earlier showing what they claimed were hostages still held in Gaza.

What happened in the previous truce

During a week-long truce late last month 80 Israeli hostages were freed in exchange for 240 Palestinians held in Israeli jails. The deal was brokered by Qatar with the help of Egypt and the United States.

This time as well Egypt, along with Qatar is helping to mediate a weeklong cease-fire as negotiations are underway. But the two sides appeared to be far from an agreement, it was reported.

What Israeli president said on ceasefire

Israeli president Isaac Herzog indicated readiness to enter Gaza truce in order to recover hostages held by Hamas.

"Israel is ready for another humanitarian pause and additional humanitarian aid in order to enable the release of hostages," Isaac Herzog said as per news agency Reuters, adding, “And the responsibility lies fully with (Hamas leader Yahya) Sinwar and (other) Hamas leadership.”

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