Israeli delegation heads to Cairo for cease-fire, hostage talks, report

Negotiations have reached a dangerous turning point that threatens the possibility of reaching a final agreement, Hamas source tells pro-Hezbollah media outlet and reiterates that Hamas does not back down from demand for war to end, IDF to leave Gaza

Einav Halabi, i24NEWS|
An Israeli delegation was scheduled to arrive in Cairo on Wednesday to deliver Jerusalem's response to Hamas' proposal for a Gaza cease-fire and hostage deal, Saudi-owned Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported, citing an Egyptian source
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Previously, the delegation was kept at home after Israel claimed Hamas was not serious about reaching a hostage release deal and after the terror group refused to provide any information about the hostages who are still alive or about those who would be freed if a deal was agreed.
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הדלקת נרות בתחילת ישיבת הקבינט לניהול המלחמה, בקריה בתל אביב
הדלקת נרות בתחילת ישיבת הקבינט לניהול המלחמה, בקריה בתל אביב
A meeting of the war cabinet
(Photo: GPO)
"The negotiations have reached a dangerous turning point that threatens the possibility of reaching a final agreement," a senior Palestinian source told the pro-Hezbollah Al-Mayadeen channel, saying Hamas' demands have not changed from insisting on a cease-fire with the complete withdrawal of the Israeli military from Gaza and displaced Gazans returning to their homes across the enclave.
Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar's deputy Khalil al-Hayya on Wednesday presented the terror group's final proposal for a cease-fire to Egyptian intelligence chief Abbas Kamel, according to a report out of Jordan.
The document proposes: a pause in the fighting one week before hostages are released; an agreement that Israel would withdraw its forces from the Gaza Strip, with international guarantees that this would occur; and a demand that the cease-fire would be "the end of the aggression against Gaza" and not a humanitarian pause.
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יחיא סינוואר
יחיא סינוואר
Hamas leader in Gaza Yayha Sinwar
(Photo: John Minchillo / AP)
The Hamas response, reported in Rai-al-Youm, includes a demand that aid be delivered to all of the Gaza Strip. After the first week without fighting, the "exchange process" would begin, and Hamas does not object to those releases being made in stages, as long as there are international guarantees.
The document says Hamas firmly opposes sending released Palestinian prisoners out of the Palestinian territories.
Hamas demands the release of all 57 Palestinians who were released in the 2011 Shalit prisoner swap but arrested again later in addition to those exchanged for hostages. The group said it would provide a list of the names of prisoners it requires to be released 48 hours ahead of each exchange and that it will not provide a full list of the prisoners to be included in the entire process in advance
Hamas also provided the names of 160 prisoners that must be released in the first stage of the exchange. Among them are some serving long sentences for serious crimes.
On the list is Marwan Barghouti, a prominent member of Fatah serving multiple life sentences for his role in deadly terror attacks that resulted in the deaths of five Israelis, and a possible successor to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
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מרואן ברגותי
מרואן ברגותי
Hamas seeks to free prominent Fatah member Marwan Barghouti
(Photo: Brennan Linsley, AP)
Hamas is also demanding the release of Ahmed Saadat, the secretary-general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the mastermind behind the assassination of then-Minister Rehavam Ze'evi in 2001; Abdullah Barghouti, a member of Hamas who was a senior commander in the terror faction's military wing in the West Bank and who is serving an unprecedented term of 67 life sentences; Ibrahim Hamed, who held the significant position of second-in-command within the terrorist organization in the West Bank; and Abbas al-Sayed, the second mastermind behind the devastating bombing at Netanya's Park Hotel in 2002 that killed 30 civilians during a Passover seder.
Hamas also demands the release of all women, children, infirm and elderly held by Israel.
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