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Stop-Fireplace Talks Between Israel and Hamas Once more at an Deadlock

The most recent spherical of negotiations between Israel and Hamas hit an deadlock on Sunday as mediators struggled to bridge remaining gaps and a Hamas delegation departed the talks in Cairo, in response to two senior Hamas officers and two different officers accustomed to the talks. An Israeli official additionally confirmed the negotiations had stalled and described them as being in “disaster.”

For months, the negotiations geared toward reaching a cease-fire and a launch of hostages have made little progress, however indicators the 2 sides have been coming nearer to an settlement appeared during the last week. Israel backed off a few of its long-held calls for and a high Hamas official mentioned the group was finding out the most recent Israeli supply with a “constructive spirit.”

However the setback over the weekend meant Palestinians dwelling in depressing circumstances in Gaza wouldn’t expertise an imminent reprieve and the households of hostages held by militants must wait longer for the liberty of their family members.

The principle impediment within the talks was the period of a cease-fire, with Hamas demanding it’s everlasting and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel expressing openness to solely a brief halt within the preventing.

Hamas blamed the dearth of progress on Mr. Netanyahu, who vowed once more in current days that the Israeli military will invade Rafah, the southernmost city within the Gaza Strip, with or with out an settlement.

“We have been very shut, however Netanyahu’s narrow-mindedness aborted an settlement,” Mousa Abu Marzouk, a senior Hamas official, mentioned in a telephone interview.

The Israeli official who spoke on the situation of anonymity mentioned that Israel and Hamas have been nearer to a deal a few days in the past, however that Mr. Netanyahu’s statements about Rafah had compelled Hamas to harden its calls for in an try to make sure that Israeli forces received’t enter town.

Two U.S. officers, who spoke on the situation of anonymity, pushed again on the notion the talks have been at an deadlock, suggesting that events have been nonetheless reviewing particulars of the newest proposals.

Preventing continued on Sunday, with Israeli strikes reported in Rafah, in response to Palestinian media, and rocket hearth on the realm of a crossing between Israel and Gaza — which has been comparatively uncommon in current months.

Mr. Netanyahu and the US have been contending that Hamas was holding up an settlement. On Sunday, Mr. Netanyahu mentioned he wouldn’t comply with the entire withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza and an finish to the struggle. Countenancing such calls for, he mentioned, would enable Hamas to re-establish management over Gaza, rebuild their navy capabilities, and threaten communities all through Israel.

“It’s Hamas that’s holding up the discharge of our hostages,” he mentioned. “We’re working in each potential method to free the hostages; that is our high precedence.”

An Israeli delegation by no means made it to Cairo for the most recent spherical of talks. The Israeli official mentioned that Israel had sought a written response to its newest proposal from Hamas earlier than dispatching a delegation, however that the group by no means conveyed one.

Mr. Abu Marzouk mentioned Hamas had wished Israel to be current on the talks in Cairo, the place they may have labored by means of mediators to make clear “obscure” factors within the newest Israeli supply, together with on the period of a cease-fire.

“The cease-fire must be everlasting and stuck,” he mentioned.

Mr. Abu Marzouk was the one one of many officers who spoke concerning the talks to permit using his identify. The others spoke on the situation of anonymity to debate the delicate topic or as a result of they weren’t approved to talk to the press.

Hamas, Mr. Abu Marzouk mentioned, thought that Mr. Netanyahu wished an settlement that will allow Israel to invade Rafah after its hostages are launched.

“That is Netanyahu’s plan,” he mentioned.

The Biden administration has been urgent Israel to chorus from enterprise a significant operation in Rafah, the place round a million Palestinians have been sheltering for the reason that begin of the struggle, which has lasted almost seven months.

A technical workforce from the Qatari international ministry additionally left the Egyptian capital on Sunday, two officers briefed on the talks mentioned.

On Monday, Hamas’s political management will convene in Doha to debate what unfolded in Cairo over the previous two days, however the group meant to proceed taking part in negotiations with “positivity,” mentioned one of many senior Hamas officers, who spoke on the situation of anonymity.

A report in Al-Qahera Information, an Egyptian state-owned tv channel, mentioned {that a} Hamas delegation would return to Cairo on Tuesday, however the senior Hamas official mentioned that the group hadn’t decided but.

Peter Baker and Michael Crowley contributed reporting to this text.

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