Progress in Gaza Ceasefire Talks: Hamas Delegation to Egypt

 

(AP Photo/Mohammad Jahjouh)

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, Significantly, Hamas signalled on Thursday that it would send a delegation to Egypt for more ceasefire talks, indicating advancement in international attempts to mediate a truce between Israel and the Palestinian group during the Gaza crisis.


With Egyptian and American mediators citing evidence of agreement, ceasefire talks are at a crucial stage after months of halts and starts. Deal prospects are still entwined, though, with the question of whether Israel will consent to halt the war without accomplishing its goal of destroying Hamas.


A recent U.N. report that predicted it would take until 2040 to reconstruct the homes damaged during over seven months of Israeli airstrikes and ground offensives in Gaza highlighted the stakes in the ceasefire talks. According to the research, the economic fallout from the devastation would impede growth for many generations, becoming worse with every month that went by of combat.


Three stages are outlined in the framework that U.S. and Egyptian mediators have proposed, and which Israel is said to have approved. According to an Egyptian official, it involves talks on a "permanent calm," which includes talks on some kind of Israeli pullout from Gaza, after an instant six-week ceasefire and partial release of Israeli captives. But Hamas wants guarantees that the battle will finish definitively and that Israel would depart completely.


The plan has received a varying reaction from Hamas in recent days. Even still, Ismail Haniyeh, the movement's supreme leader, reiterated on Thursday that he had spoken with Egypt's intelligence chief about the ceasefire plan and emphasized the movement's constructive attitude to the talks. Haniyeh added that Hamas representatives would visit Cairo to carry on with talks aimed at striking a deal and mentioned corresponding with Qatar's prime minister, another important mediator in the process.


The mediators believe that a ceasefire agreement might put an end to a war that has claimed a great deal of lives; local health authorities have reported over 34,000 Palestinian dead. Apart from that, the fighting has caused tremendous devastation and put Gaza in a dire humanitarian situation. Preventing an Israeli attack on Rafah, where more than half of Gaza's population has fled combat zones elsewhere in the Strip, is similarly thought to depend on a ceasefire agreement.


But if Hamas is prepared to tolerate ambiguity about the last phases of the ceasefire agreement will determine the immediate fate of the suggested accord. This would entail the first break in hostilities lasting six weeks, maybe delaying a planned catastrophic attack on Rafah.


Egypt has informally reassured Hamas that the pact will put an end to the battle. But Hamas is pressing for a clear pledge to an Israeli pullout from Gaza, voicing worries over the agreement's ambiguous wording. Although talks are still going on, Osama Hamdan, a senior Hamas leader, voiced doubts and said that if Israel invaded Rafah, talks would come to an end.


Against this backdrop, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who was in Israel to further the ceasefire agreement, emphasized Israel's major concessions and urged Hamas to embrace the proposed accord.


Still, things are tense; a kid was among the casualties of an Israeli bombardment on Deir al-Balah in central Gaza. The continuing fighting, which started on October 7, has increased the humanitarian situation in Gaza by taking many lives and causing great harm.


There are consequences to the war that go beyond the immediate deaths and devastation. A recent study on the devastation to the Palestinian economy was released by the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia and the United Nations Development Programme. Estimating a 25.8% drop in the Palestinian economy overall, including the West Bank, by 2024, it issued a warning of a serious downturn. The paper underlined how urgently a ceasefire is needed to stop more economic decline and lessen Palestinian suffering.


Finally, there is some optimism for a resolution to the protracted Gaza War given the advancements in the ceasefire negotiations between Israel and Hamas. Significant obstacles still need to be overcome, though, and Hamas's readiness to accept the conditions and uncertainties of the proposed agreement will determine the eventual result. Given the disastrous humanitarian effects of the continuing violence, it is imperative that a ceasefire be reached as long as foreign mediators are still trying to mediate one.


Source : APNews

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