The latest sign of progress is that Hamas is sending a delegation to Egypt

The New York Times

BEIRUT (AP) — Hamas said Thursday that it was sending a delegation to Egypt for further cease-fire talks, in a new sign of progress in attempts by international mediators to hammer out an agreement between Israel and the militant group to end the war in Gaza.
Hamas is seeking guarantees for a full Israeli withdrawal and complete end to the war.
They also say Israel must keep a military presence in Gaza and security control after the war to ensure Hamas doesn’t rebuild.
He has vowed that even if a cease-fire is reached, Israel will eventually attack Rafah, which he says is Hamas’ last stronghold in Gaza.
AP AUDIO: As Hamas considers cease-fire, question hangs: Will Israel end war without the group’s destruction?
AP correspondent Karen Chammas reports on the latest attempts to secure a cease-fire in Gaza.
Egypt has been privately assuring Hamas that the deal will mean a total end to the war.
“These new figures warn that the suffering in Gaza will not end when the war does,” UNDP administrator Achim Steiner said.


BEIRUT (AP) — In a new development in efforts by international mediators to have Israel and the militant group reach a settlement to end the war in Gaza, Hamas announced on Thursday that it was sending a delegation to Egypt for additional cease-fire negotiations.

Negotiations to end the conflict have been going back and forth for months, but it looks like they are at a turning point now that American and Egyptian mediators have begun to report signs of improvement. However, there is still a significant uncertainty surrounding the deal: will Israel accept a ceasefire in the war if it does not achieve its declared objective of eliminating Hamas?

In a recent U.S. report, the stakes in the cease-fire talks were revealed. N. the reconstruction of all the homes destroyed by nearly seven months of Israeli bombardment and ground offensives in Gaza would not be possible until 2040, even if the Israel-Hamas conflict ends today. It issued a warning, stating that the harm to the economy will impede progress for future generations and will only worsen as long as hostilities persist.

It is suggested that U. S. and Egyptian mediators have presented to Hamas a three-step plan that, presumably with Israel’s approval, would result in an instantaneous six-week cease-fire, the partial release of Israeli hostages, as well as talks over a “permanent calm” that would entail an Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, according to an Egyptian official. Hamas wants assurances that Israel will withdraw completely and that the war will end.

In recent days, representatives of Hamas have given conflicting messages regarding the proposal. However, its supreme leader, Ismail Haniyeh, stated in a statement on Thursday that he had discussed the cease-fire proposal with Egypt’s intelligence chief and “emphasized the positive spirit of the movement in studying it.”. “.

According to the statement, Hamas negotiators would visit Cairo in order “to finalize the current discussions with the objective of moving forward for an agreement.”. Haniyeh said he had also communicated with Qatar’s prime minister, who is a significant mediator in the process.

The mediators hope the agreement will put an end to a conflict that has, according to local health officials, claimed the lives of over 34,000 Palestinians, left much of the region in ruins, and created a humanitarian crisis. They also hope that an agreement will prevent Israel from attacking Rafah, where over half of Gaza’s 23 million residents have taken refuge after escaping conflict areas elsewhere in the region.

It would be a significant shift if Israel did consent to end the conflict in exchange for the complete release of the hostages. Following Hamas’ Oct. Israel’s leaders, taken aback by the attack, have vowed to keep up their aerial and ground assaults until the terrorist organization is vanquished. They further contend that in order to prevent Hamas from reorganizing, Israel must maintain security oversight and a military presence in Gaza following the war.

Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister of Israel, maintains that’s the only feasible outcome—at least in public.

As the last stronghold of Hamas in Gaza, he claims Rafah will be attacked by Israel at some point, even if a cease-fire is achieved. Throughout their conversation on Wednesday, he reaffirmed his resolve to do so. s. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who was in Israel for a regional visit and aimed to expedite the agreement.

AP Audio: The question of whether Israel will end the war without destroying Hamas looms as the group contemplates a cease-fire.

Ongoing efforts to establish a cease-fire in Gaza are covered by AP correspondent Karen Chammas.

In order to bring about the first six-week ceasefire and, at the very least, delay what is believed to be a disastrous attack on Rafah, Hamas must agree to uncertainty regarding the agreement’s future stages.

Egypt has been telling Hamas in private that the agreement will result in the end of the war. However, the Egyptian official stated that Hamas believes the text’s wording is too ambiguous and that it should explicitly state that Israel is withdrawing from all of Gaza. Talking about the internal discussions, the official agreed to remain anonymous.

But on Wednesday night, the news took a turn for the worse when Osama Hamdan, a senior Hamas official, voiced doubt and called the group’s initial stance “negative.”. He stated that while negotiations were still in progress, they would come to an end if Israel invades Rafah in an interview with Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV.

By claiming that Israel had made “very important” concessions, Blinken increased the pressure on Hamas to comply.

“Any more wrangling is out of the question. Blinken declared on Wednesday that the deal was finalized before departing for the U.S. S.

Meanwhile, in the central Gazan town of Deir al-Balah, at least five people—including a child—were killed by an Israeli airstrike. At a hospital, journalists from the Associated Press saw and counted the bodies.

On October 1, the war began. 7. When Hamas militants invaded southern Israel, they killed more than 1,200 people, most of them Israelis, and kidnapped about 250 more. Some of the hostages were freed in November during a ceasework.

The October attacks set off the Israel-Hamas conflict. During a raid into southern Israel on July 7, militants killed about 1,200 people—mostly civilians—and kidnapped about 250 hostages. About a hundred hostages and the bodies of over thirty more are reportedly still being held by Hamas.

Since then, the Israeli campaign in Gaza has caused enormous damage and a humanitarian crisis, with the U.S. declaring that several hundred thousand Palestinians in northern Gaza face impending starvation. N. A population that has experienced home displacement exceeds 80%.

According to a report released on Thursday by the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia and the United Nations Development Program, the “productive basis of the economy has been destroyed” and Palestinian poverty is dramatically increasing.

As of now in 2024, it states that the Palestinian economy as a whole, which includes Gaza and the West Bank, has shrunk by 25.8%. It stated that by July, the loss would have reached a “staggering” 29 percent if the war carried on. The act of Israel terminating work permits for tens of thousands of workers who were dependent on employment within Israel has had a negative impact on the economy of the West Bank.

“These fresh statistics indicate that the agony in Gaza will persist even after the conflict concludes,” stated UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner. He declared that there was a “serious development crisis that jeopardizes future generations.”

. “.

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