Home » Progress in Gaza talks, ‘Hamas reduces demands’ – News

Progress in Gaza talks, ‘Hamas reduces demands’ – News

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Progress in Gaza talks, ‘Hamas reduces demands’ – News

There is a clear sign of progress towards a deal on Israeli hostages still held in Gaza and a possible truce in Israel’s war against Hamas. After the negotiations in Cairo with the Islamic faction, the new talks in Paris – between the director of the CIA William Burns, Qatar, Egypt and the head of the Mossad David Barnea – were defined as “very good” and a harbinger of “significant progress”.
The updated picture in the French capital comes under scrutiny by both Hamas and the Israeli war cabinet. According to many sources, the fact that the Islamic faction has “reduced” many of its initial conditions seems to have contributed to shortening the distances, which could open up, even with all the necessary precautions, to a positive solution “before Ramadan” which will begin March 10-11. But Hamas holds back on media reconstructions: Taher Anonu, chief of staff to leader Ismail Haniyeh, said that the news of the militiamen’s surrenders are “Israeli propaganda”. For the Palestinian official, the conditions set by Hamas for an agreement remain the cessation of the war, the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza, the lifting of the blockade and the rehabilitation of the Gaza Strip.

According to Arab media and other sources, Hamas has instead abandoned the request for a total withdrawal of the IDF from Gaza – unacceptable for Israel – and a permanent ceasefire in favor of an initial 6-week truce. According to the same sources, the number of Palestinian prisoners that Israel should release in exchange for the kidnapped people has also been reduced: there is talk of 200-300 in the first phase, defined as humanitarian, of the agreement. In this first step, Hamas – according to the Ynet website – would release around 35-40 children, women, adults over 60 and sick people, including young people. But at the same time he would still ask for the withdrawal of the IDF from the most populated centers and the return of displaced people from the south to the north of the Strip. “We are still far from an agreement but Hamas – explained a high-ranking Israeli political official – has abandoned some of its requests following Prime Minister Netanyahu’s hardening.”

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Now, “any further progress – summarized a diplomatic source, quoted by Haaretz – is in the hands of Hamas”.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also said that the situation is moving, confirming that “work is being done to obtain another scheme for the release of our hostages”.
The objective – he said – “is to discuss the next steps of the negotiations”. But the prime minister has certainly not set aside military pressure with the announced military operation in Rafah, in the south of the Strip, where hundreds of thousands of displaced Palestinians are gathering. Early next week the war cabinet will examine its operational plans, “including the evacuation of the civilian population”, to complete “the elimination of the Hamas battalions”. “Only a combination of military pressure and resolute negotiations will lead to the release of our hostages and the elimination of Hamas,” he reiterated. Meanwhile, Netanyahu continues to face protests in the streets, with thousands of people taking to the streets on Saturday in Tel Aviv, in a demonstration unauthorized by the police, who responded with water cannons and 19 arrests, and with a candlelight vigil in Jerusalem.

On the 141st day of the war, the army concentrated in Zeitun, the western neighborhood of Gaza City, in the center of the Strip, and in the Hamas stronghold of Khan Yunis, in the south. In both places the IDF reported “intense fighting” in which “many Hamas operatives” were killed. For its part, the Hamas Ministry of Health reported that the deaths have reached 29,606 since the beginning of the war. In the disastrous humanitarian conditions of the Palestinian enclave, UNRWA, the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees, said it had been forced to suspend the delivery of aid to northern Gaza where it is “not possible to conduct adequate humanitarian operations” due to the situation of hunger and desperation of the population which leads to attacks and riots.

For further information ANSA Agency Police use water cannons on protesters in Tel Aviv, 19 arrests – News – Ansa.it Thousands protest against Netanyahu. Torchlight procession in Jerusalem (ANSA)

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