Gaza: Egyptian-Israeli discussions on the release of hostages

JERUSALEM/CAIRO, April 26 (Reuters) – Egyptian envoys were in Israel on Friday to discuss ways to restart negotiations on a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and the release of Israeli hostages, they said. -we learned from an authorized source.

“This is an attempt by Egypt to relaunch discussions on an – Egyptian – proposal for the release of 33 hostages – women, elderly people, infirm,” reported a source, speaking on condition of anonymity. source kept informed of Israeli-Egyptian exchanges.

“There are no discussions between Israel and Hamas, nor any new proposal from Israel in this regard,” she added.

The duration of the truce prior to the release of the 33 people has not been decided, but if an agreement was reached, it would be “less than six weeks”, the source said.

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According to Israeli media, Israeli secret services estimate the number of women, children and sick people detained in the Gaza Strip by Hamas and other Palestinian groups at 33, out of the 133 still there.

The chief of staff of the Israeli army, Lieutenant General Herzi Halevi, and Ronen Bar, head of Shin Bet, Israeli internal intelligence, were in Cairo on Thursday, according to Israeli media.

“The Egyptians are clearly taking the torch. Egypt wants to see progress, especially since it is worried about an upcoming (Israeli land) operation in Rafah,” on its border, the official told Reuters.

The Israeli authorities, they explain, have distanced themselves from Qatar – which appeared in the first negotiations as the main mediator – which has not satisfied their demands to expel Hamas officials from their territory or to a freezing of their financial assets.

“Qatar is still involved, but on a lesser scale. It is clear to everyone that it has failed,” the source said. (Reporting Dan Williams and Nidal al-Mughrabi in Cairo, written by James Mackenzie, French version Sophie Louet, edited by Jean-Stéphane Brosse)


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