Israel insists Hamas give names of live hostages before joining talks

Delegation stays home while Hamas officials in Cairo to discuss possible deal with mediators; terror group stands firm demand for war to end and IDF to withdraw from Gaza

Einav Halabi , Agencies|
Israel on Sunday, reiterated its position that its delegation to the negotiations on the release of hostages in exchange for a pause in the fighting in Gaza, will remain at home until Hamas provides the names of the captives who are still alive.
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A Hamas official said that the terror group has not backed down from its demand that a hostage release deal would include an end to the war. According to a report in the Qatari newspaper Al-Araby al Jadeed, Hamas rejects Israel's demand for names unless there is an agreement on the full withdrawal of IDF forces from Gaza.
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עצרת משפחות החטופים בכיכר פריז בירושלים
עצרת משפחות החטופים בכיכר פריז בירושלים
Protesters demand an immediate return of the Israeli hostages held by Hamas, in a demonstration in Jerusalem on Saturday
(Photo: Rafi Kotz)
Egyptian officials told the Reuters news agency that assurances had been offered to Hamas that the terms of a permanent ceasefire would be worked out in second and third phases of the deal that would include 40 captives being returned to Israel, among them women, the elderly and infirmed, in exchange for a six-week pause in the war.
A U.S. official said Israel has "more or less," agreed with the it is now up to Hamas to agree to it, a senior U.S. administration official said Saturday, a day before talks to reach an agreement were to resume in Egypt.
Mediators are expected to convene in Cairo on Sunday for talks with Israeli and Hamas delegations although Israel has said that there would be no participation in the talks unless Hamas provides the names of the live hostages ahead of time.
According to a report in Saudi Arabia's Asharq television channel quoting a Hamas official, the terror group is expected to give its response to the proposal agreed last week by mediators and Israel, "within hours," adding that the response will show the group's willingness to compromise.
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תיעוד מפעילות לוחמי חטיבת הצנחנים בחאן יונס
תיעוד מפעילות לוחמי חטיבת הצנחנים בחאן יונס
Israeli forces in Khan Younis
(Photo: IDF)
A senior American official said late on Saturday that it is now up to Hamas to agree. “Right now, the ball is in the court of Hamas and we are continuing to push this as hard as we possibly can,” the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity under ground rules set by the White House to brief reporters.
On Sunday, Israeli troops surrounded the Hemed neighborhood of Khan Younis that was built by Qatar, targeting Hamas forces and infrastructure there.
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