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Israel failed to show up for a meeting with Hamas in Egypt

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Israel failed to show up for a meeting with Hamas in Egypt

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A Hamas delegation went to Cairo, Egypt, on Sunday to discuss a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip with Israel, but the Israeli delegation did not show up for the meeting. The Israeli government had made the list of Israeli hostages still alive held by Hamas as a condition for proceeding with negotiations on the truce: Hamas refused to hand it over and so the Israeli delegation boycotted the meeting.

The hypothesis of a truce negotiation was anticipated on Saturday by a US source from the news agency Reuters, which had said that Israel had agreed to a six-week ceasefire if Hamas agreed to release those taken hostage in the October 7 attack. During previous negotiations, Hamas avoided discussing the health conditions of individual hostages before reaching an agreement on their release.

The Hamas delegation is led by Khalil al Hayya, a close associate of Yahya Sinwar, Hamas leader inside the Gaza Strip. Representatives of Qatar and the United States, countries that are acting as mediators between the warring parties, also went to Cairo for the meeting.

Anonymous sources within the Israeli government who spoke with the Israeli progressive newspaper Haaretz they criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for demanding the list of living hostages before the negotiations began.

Last week it appeared that negotiations between Israel and Hamas were making significant progress towards reaching a ceasefire, however temporary, after numerous failures. The Israeli delegation had met in Paris with the director of the CIA, the head of Egyptian intelligence and the Prime Minister of Qatar Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim al Thani: no representatives of Hamas were present, but both Egypt and Qatar acted as intermediaries .

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Since then, however, the pressure on Israel to agree a truce has increased also due to the massacre of Palestinian people which occurred on Thursday in the city of Gaza: the Gaza Ministry of Health (i.e. Hamas) accused the Israeli army of having shot and killed at least 112 civilians were among the people who had gathered to receive food from some humanitarian aid trucks. The Israeli army denied firing on the crowd. On Sunday, army spokesman Daniel Hagari said that a preliminary investigation into the incident had been concluded: according to the Israeli reconstruction of the massacre, defined as “an unfortunate accident” by Hagari, the Palestinian civilians died crushed by the crowd as they approached the truck.

“Our initial investigation confirmed that soldiers did not fire towards the aid convoy,” said Hagari, who also added: “Numerous looters approached our troops, posing an immediate threat.” This account is disputed by various Palestinian testimonies.

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