Hamas team to consult with leadership on Gaza deal after Cairo talks

Palestinian children stand on April 27 amid the debris of a house destroyed by overnight Israeli bombardment in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. (AFP/Getty Images/TNS)

CAIRO — Another round of indirect negotiations on the Gaza war came to an end on Sunday in the Egyptian capital Cairo, with representatives from militant Palestinian Hamas set to head to Qatar next for consultation with their leadership, according to the group.

The Hamas delegation had delivered a response to the mediators’ proposals and discussed them with the representatives of Egypt and Qatar, the organization wrote on its Telegram channel.


The delegation planned to leave Cairo on Sunday evening and consult with the organization’s leaders in Qatar, it said.

The latest round of negotiations to find a solution to the months-long conflict in Gaza had begun on Saturday. Israel had not sent a delegation as the government wanted to wait and see whether Hamas would accept the latest proposal from the mediators, which also includes the U.S.

This envisages a multistage agreement between Israel and Hamas, which should lead to the release of the remaining Israeli hostages held in Gaza, the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli prisons and an end to the war in Gaza.

Negotiations for a solution to the conflict have stalled for months, following a brief cease-fire in November, with Israel and Hamas trading blame for the lack of progress.

The Gaza war was triggered by the unprecedented massacre of more than 1,200 people killed by militants from Hamas and other groups in Israel on October 7. They also abducted 250 people to Gaza.

Israel responded with massive airstrikes and a ground offensive. As of Friday, the Hamas-controlled Health Ministry said the death toll in Gaza from Israeli attacks stood at more than 34,600.

In its statement on Sunday, Hamas emphasized that it was conducting the negotiations “in a positive spirit and responsibly.” However, a breakthrough did not appear to be on the horizon.

The Islamists are insisting on an agreement in which Israel commits from the outset to ending the war and completely withdrawing its troops from the Gaza Strip.

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