Gaza truce: Israel to send delegation back to Qatar “next week”

Gaza truce: Israel to send delegation back to Qatar “next week”
Gaza truce: Israel to send delegation back to Qatar “next week”

Hopes for a truce could be rekindled in Gaza. The Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas expects an initial response from Israel by Saturday to its new “ideas” for a ceasefire in Gaza, Osama Hamdan, a senior Hamas official, told AFP on Friday, ahead of a resumption of negotiations to end the war.

“We do not want to talk about these ideas in detail. We are waiting for a response, probably today (Friday) or tomorrow morning (Saturday),” Osama Hamdan said. “If the response is positive, we will talk about these ideas in detail because then we will enter into the discussion on implementing these ideas, which, God willing, will not take long,” he added.

According to Osam Hamdan, there were no new concrete proposals in the document sent to Israel this week, but “ideas were proposed to overcome” Israeli opposition. “Each time we pushed for an agreement. This time I think the resistance managed to block the excuses that the Israeli side was clinging to, and we hope that the position of the American administration will be firm to push the Israeli side to accept these ideas and thus put an end to the aggression” in Gaza, he said.

Israeli emissaries to return soon

Israel said Friday that “gaps” remained to be filled in talks on a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and a deal to release hostages, but that it would send a delegation “next week” to continue talks with Qatari mediators.

“The head of the Mossad (intelligence service) recently returned from an initial meeting with mediators in Doha,” the spokesman said in a statement. “It was decided that a team would leave next week to continue negotiations. It is emphasized that there are still gaps between the parties,” the text added.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday ordered Mossad chief David Barnea to travel to Qatar after Hamas announced new “ideas” to end the war in the Palestinian territory, which began on October 7 with the Islamist movement’s attack on Israel.

The latter left Doha on Friday after discussions with Qatari officials on an agreement to release hostages and a truce in the Gaza Strip, a source close to the negotiations told AFP on Friday.

“An Israeli delegation led by David Barnea left Doha for Israel following meetings with Qatari mediators on Hamas’ response to a ceasefire in Gaza,” the source said on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the discussions.

38,011 Palestinians killed, according to Hamas

The war broke out on October 7, when Hamas commandos carried out an unprecedented attack in southern Israel that killed 1,195 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on official Israeli data. Of the 251 people kidnapped in the attack, 116 are still being held hostage in Gaza, of whom 42 are dead, according to the army.

Video‘The noise was terrifying’: Deadly strike hits refugee camp in Rafah

In response, the Israeli army launched an offensive on the Gaza Strip that has so far killed 38,011 people, mostly civilians, according to data from the Health Ministry of the Hamas-led Gaza government.

Osama Hamdan also indicated that his movement’s military capabilities were “good” and that this allowed it to “continue” the war.

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