Egypt Awaits Israel and Hamas Response on Gaza Truce Proposal Involving Hostage Release

Egypt proposes Gaza ceasefire deal involving prisoner swap, as Israel faces ICC genocide accusations. Talks mediated by Egypt, Qatar, US aim to end conflict that has devastated Palestinians.

Safak Costu
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Egypt Awaits Israel and Hamas Response on Gaza Truce Proposal Involving Hostage Release

Egypt Awaits Israel and Hamas Response on Gaza Truce Proposal Involving Hostage Release

Egypt is awaiting responses from Israel and Hamas on a new ceasefire proposal for the Gaza Strip that involves the release of hostages, according to Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry. The proposal, described as "extraordinarily generous" by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, includes a 40-day pause in fighting and the release of potentially thousands of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Israeli hostages held by Hamas.

The talks, mediated by Egypt, Qatar, and the United States, have stretched on as Palestinians in Gaza remain skeptical about the prospects of a successful resolution, citing previous failures to reach a deal. Israeli airstrikes on Monday killed dozens of Palestinians, with more than half the dead in the southern Gaza city of Rafah. The international community, including British Foreign Secretary David Cameron, has urged Hamas to swiftly accept the proposal.

A Hamas delegation has left Cairo after discussions with Egyptian officials on the truce proposal and is expected to return with a written response. Israel has reportedly lowered the number of hostages it expects Hamas to release in the first phase of the ceasefire, from an initial higher number to 33, in return for the release of around 900 Palestinian prisoners.

Why this matters: The ongoing conflict in Gaza has resulted in the deaths of over 34,500 Palestinians, the wounding of more than 77,000 others, and the displacement of 85% of the territory's population. A successful ceasefire and hostage release deal could provide much-needed relief for civilians and pave the way for a more sustainable resolution to the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

U.S. President Joe Biden has pledged to work with Egypt and Qatar to ensure the implementation of the proposed ceasefire and has urged their leaders to push for the release of the remaining hostages held by Hamas. "The only thing standing between the people of Gaza and a ceasefire is Hamas, and they need to make the right decision quickly," stated U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken.

The ceasefire proposal comes as Israel faces accusations of genocide at the International Court of Justice, with an interim ruling ordering Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza. The outcome of the truce talks could have significant implications for the future of the conflict and the lives of millions of Palestinians in the besieged enclave.

Key Takeaways

  • Egypt proposes new Gaza ceasefire deal involving hostage release.
  • Deal includes 40-day fighting pause, release of Palestinian prisoners.
  • Israel, Hamas yet to respond; previous deals have failed to materialize.
  • Ongoing conflict has killed over 34,500 Palestinians, displaced 85%.
  • Ceasefire could impact ICC genocide case against Israel over Gaza.