Home / News / Officials say recent talks on Gaza ended with no progress. Days left until Ramadan – Chicago Tribune

Officials say recent talks on Gaza ended with no progress. Days left until Ramadan – Chicago Tribune


CAIRO (AP) – Three-day talks with Hamas on a ceasefire in Gaza and the release of Israeli hostages ended Tuesday without any progress, Egyptian officials said. An unofficial deadline for a deal.

The United States, Qatar and Egypt have spent weeks trying to reach a deal under which Hamas would release up to 40 hostages in exchange for a month-long ceasefire, the release of some Palestinian detainees and a flow of aid to address the humanitarian disaster in the region. isolated area.

Two Egyptian officials said the latest round of talks was over. They said Hamas had submitted a proposal that mediators would discuss with Israel in the coming days.

Hamas has refused to release all of the estimated 100 hostages it is holding, and the remainder of about 30 others, unless Israel ends its offensive, withdraws from the area and releases scores of Palestinian prisoners, including senior militants serving life sentences.

Hamas spokesman Jihad Taha said negotiations were continuing, but the ball was in Israel’s court. He said Israel has so far rejected Hamas’ demands to allow people fleeing northern Gaza to return and to guarantee a ceasefire and complete withdrawal.

“Hamas is open to proposals and initiatives consistent with its stance, which calls for a ceasefire, withdrawal, return of displaced persons, entry of aid convoys and reconstruction,” Taha said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has publicly rejected Hamas’ demands and has repeatedly promised to continue the war until Hamas is disbanded and all hostages are returned. Israel did not send a delegation to the last round of negotiations.

An Israeli official said Israel is still waiting for Hamas to hand over a list of surviving hostages and the hostage-to-prisoner ratio it seeks in any release deal. It was unclear whether this information was included in the final proposal.

Israeli and Egyptian officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media on the negotiations.

Benny Gantz, a member of Netanyahu’s War Cabinet and his main political rival, met with senior US officials in Washington, prompting a rebuke from the prime minister; It was the latest sign of a growing rift within Israeli leadership.

Mediators had hoped to reach an agreement before Ramadan, when Israeli-Palestinian tensions often escalate over access to a major holy site in Jerusalem. The month is expected to begin around March 10, depending on the moon sighting.

“The negotiations are sensitive. I wouldn’t say there is optimism or pessimism, but we have not yet reached a point where we can have a ceasefire,” Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said on Monday.

The war began when Palestinian militants killed nearly 1,200 people and took about 250 hostages in a Hamas attack on southern Israel on October 7. More than 100 were released during a week-long ceasefire in November.

The attack led to Israel’s occupation of the territory of 2.3 million people, which Gaza’s Health Ministry said killed more than 30,000 Palestinians. Aid groups say the conflict has displaced much of the region’s population and pushed a quarter of the population to the brink of starvation.

At least 10 children in isolated northern Gaza have died from dehydration and malnutrition, the UN children’s agency said on Monday.

“There are probably more children fighting for their lives in one of the few remaining hospitals in Gaza, and there are probably even more children in the north who may not be able to receive any care at all,” said Adele Khodr, UNICEF regional director for the Middle East and North Africa. she said in a statement.

“These tragic and horrific deaths are man-made, predictable and completely preventable,” he added.

Fifteen children have died of starvation at Kamal Adwan Hospital in northern Gaza, while six other children are at risk of dying from malnutrition and dehydration, the Gaza Ministry of Health said on Sunday. It was unclear whether the children had underlying medical conditions that increased their vulnerability.

Northern Gaza, the first target of Israel’s attacks, suffered mass destruction. The World Food Program had recently suspended aid shipments to the north due to deterioration in security. An attempt by the Israeli army to bring aid ended in tragedy last week, when more than 100 Palestinians were shot or crushed to death by Israeli forces in close combat.

Up to 300,000 Palestinians are believed to remain in northern Gaza after Israel ordered the evacuation of the entire area, including Gaza City, in October. Many were reduced to eating animal food to survive. The UN says one in six children under 2 in the north suffers from acute malnutrition.

The United States and other countries have carried out airstrikes in recent days, but aid groups say the expensive, last-ditch measure is not enough to meet growing needs.

Israel is still launching attacks throughout Gaza and is threatening to expand its ground offensive into the southernmost city of Rafah, where about half of Gaza’s population has taken refuge. Gantz said that if an agreement cannot be reached on the hostages, the Rafah operation could start from Ramadan.

Gaza Ministry of Health announced that 97 people died in the last 24 hours. The total death toll of Palestinians reached 30,631. The ministry does not distinguish between civilians and combatants in its figures, but says women and children account for about two-thirds of the total casualties.

Israel says it is trying to avoid harming civilians and blames Hamas for high casualties because the militants operate in densely populated areas. But the military rarely takes into account individual attacks that often kill women and children.


Goldenberg reported from Tel Aviv, Israel, and Shurafa reported from Rafah, Gaza Strip. Associated Press writer Abby Sewell in Beirut contributed.


You can find more AP news at https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war.


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