Sunday, April 14, 2024

Discussions about a truce between Israel and Hamas seem to be progressing, following violence at a Gaza aid location, according to officials

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Ongoing talks to stop the fighting between Hamas and Israel in Gaza before Ramadan are still going, even though over 100 Palestinians were killed on Thursday while trying to get food in Gaza City. US officials on Friday said there’s no sign that the talks have gone off track, but a lot depends on how Hamas responds to what’s been discussed in Paris and Doha with Qatar, Egypt, Israel, and the US. A Hamas official warned that the negotiations might be affected.

CNN tried reaching out to some Hamas officials about the potential deal but got no response.

After the chaotic scenes and deaths in Gaza on Thursday, US officials said it added urgency to the hostage and ceasefire talks. President Joe Biden called for an “immediate ceasefire” on Friday afternoon during a meeting with the Italian Prime Minister.

A senior official said the US is rushing to get a deal before Ramadan, just a week away, when Israel has warned of expanding military operations if there’s no deal.

Biden had hoped for a ceasefire by Monday but gave a mixed assessment on Friday, saying it’s not there yet. He mentioned that the deaths at the aid site could make the talks more difficult.

Biden spoke with the leaders of Qatar and Egypt, who are playing key roles in the negotiations.

Technical teams in Doha have been working on potential deal components this week. Disagreements remain over numbers, ratios, and IDF troop movements, according to Qatari spokesman Majed al-Ansari.

Hamas is expected to ask for more released Palestinian prisoners if Israel wants female IDF soldier hostages released. As part of a Hamas response, Israel expects a list of alive hostages and more details on the number of Palestinian prisoners they want released.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri said that if an agreement isn’t reached before Ramadan, it will worsen tensions in the Arab and Muslim world.

The talks involve multiple phases, and once an initial deal is made, there could be a truce lasting up to six weeks. This truce might involve releasing Israeli hostages (including women, children, elderly, and sick hostages) in exchange for fewer Palestinian prisoners than initially demanded by Hamas. Subsequent negotiations during the truce would cover more sensitive topics related to a permanent end to the war.

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