The fight for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip continues

The fight for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip continues

From: March 3, 2024, 11:25 am

For weeks, mediators tried to achieve a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. Israel and Hamas are generally open, but they level accusations against each other. Now the negotiations go to another round.

A week before the start of the fasting month of Ramadan, negotiations for a ceasefire in the war in the Middle East resumed in Egypt. There has been no progress yet, the Portal news agency cited a Palestinian representative who said he was familiar with the matter. When asked if a deal was imminent, he replied: “Not yet.”

A delegation from the Islamic militant Hamas had already arrived in Cairo to explore conditions for a ceasefire. Representatives from the USA and Qatar will also be on site. It is unclear whether an Israeli government team will also be present.

Senior US government officials said on Saturday that the framework for a possible agreement was in place and that the Israelis had “more or less accepted” it. Concluding an agreement now depends solely on Hamas.

However, a Hamas representative in Beirut, who declined to be named, told the dpa news agency that there are still obstacles for which the Israeli side is responsible. The main problem is the deadline for a possible ceasefire. Israel is maneuvering around the issue, it was said.

Different information about Israel's participation

The Hamas representative, in turn, also said, according to the dpa news agency, that they are still in contact with the mediators and are striving to find a solution “to end the aggression against our people.” A separate delegation wants to participate in new mediation talks on a ceasefire in Cairo. According to the Egyptian television channel, Israeli representatives will also be present.

However, the news portal “Axios” reported on Friday night that Israel did not want to participate in a new round of negotiations mediated by Egypt, Qatar and the USA until Hamas provided a list of hostages still alive.

After 105 kidnapped people were released in exchange for Palestinian prisoners during a week-long ceasefire in November, Israel estimates that there are currently around 100 hostages alive in the hands of Hamas terrorists.

Ramadan starts in a week

According to media reports, mediators have suggested that a six-week ceasefire should come into force before the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which begins on March 10, if possible. During this period, 40 Israeli hostages would be exchanged for around 400 Palestinian prisoners.

On Monday, Israeli Minister Benny Gantz, a member of the War Cabinet, is expected at the White House for talks with US Vice President Kamala Harris, as reported by the New York Times, among others. Harris is expected to speak with Gantz about the urgency of a hostage agreement that would allow a temporary ceasefire and the need for more aid to civilians in Gaza.

The humanitarian situation on the isolated coastal strip has been deteriorating for weeks. United Nations representatives recently warned at the Security Council about the starvation of thousands of civilians.

US military transport planes dropped about 38,000 meals on Saturday, according to the US military's regional command. It was a joint operation with the Jordanian Air Force. Plans are underway for new operations of this type.