War in Gaza: negotiations on a truce should resume in Cairo this Sunday

War in Gaza: negotiations on a truce should resume in Cairo this Sunday
War in Gaza: negotiations on a truce should resume in Cairo this Sunday

Much more numerous than on other Saturdays. Tens of thousands of Israelis demonstrated Saturday evening in the country’s main cities to demand the release of all hostages still in the hands of Hamas and the holding of early elections in Israel. Additional pressure, with that of the Americans, on the negotiations which should resume this Sunday in Cairo (Egypt).

The director of Mossad, David Barnea, who remained in Israel, would be ready to leave for Egypt to join his delegation as soon as Hamas had accepted the framework of the discussions. But there was “no development” on Saturday in discussions between Hamas envoy Khalil al-Hayya and mediators from Egypt, Qatar and the United States who were awaiting the response from the Palestinian movement. According to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, the document expressing Hamas’ agreement, and which was supposed to have already been submitted to Egypt, creating a small wind of optimism, was in fact not sent. Negotiators contacted by CNN say progress on technical aspects was made Saturday, but it will take several more days, perhaps a week, to reach a final agreement between the two sides.

The issue of Rafah is at the heart of the discussions: the Palestinian movement wants a guarantee that the Israeli army will not enter the large city in the south of the Gaza Strip, where 1.2 million people are crowded into appalling living conditions. “We will do what is necessary to win and defeat our enemy, including in Rafah,” the head of the Hebrew state reiterated this week, stressing that he would launch this offensive “with or without an agreement” of truce. The United States, Israel’s main ally, has repeatedly expressed its opposition to an assault on Rafah “because the damage it would cause would be beyond what is acceptable,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said. , head of American diplomacy.

Therefore, the duration of the truce is also essential: temporary, as Netanyahu wants, or definitive, as Hamas demands? A Palestinian movement official reiterated to AFP on Saturday that his movement would “under no circumstances accept an agreement that does not explicitly provide for an end to the war.” “Our information confirms that Netanyahu himself is holding back an agreement through personal calculations,” he added, without giving details.

According to Israeli authorities, there remain 128 Israeli hostages in Gaza, of whom at least 34 are dead. Israel officially considers people hostages, even if they are dead, until their remains are returned. The Israeli army announced Friday that the remains of Elyakim Libman, held hostage in Gaza, had been found in Israeli territory. More than 1,170 people died in the bloody attacks perpetrated by Hamas on Israeli territory on October 7. In response, the Israeli government vowed to wipe out the movement in power in Gaza since 2007, and launched a merciless response, which has lasted for 211 days. On Saturday, the Gaza Ministry of Health said the death toll rose to at least 34,654 in the Gazan enclave.

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