Israeli negotiators return from Cairo with new proposal for Hamas

Prime Minister's Office announces mediators formulated up-to-date hostage release proposal and is waiting for Hamas to respond; 'Israel expects the mediators to take vigorous action regarding Hamas to advance the negotiations toward a deal'

The negotiating team made up of officials from the Mossad, the Shin Bet and the IDF will return on Tuesday afternoon from Cairo, "at the conclusion of an additional intensive round of negotiations," the Prime Minister's Office announced on Tuesday afternoon.
The bureau's announcement stated that: "In the framework of the talks, under useful Egyptian mediation, the mediators formulated an updated proposal for Hamas. Israel expects the mediators to take vigorous action regarding Hamas to advance the negotiations toward a deal."
The announcement comes as the families of the hostages still held in Gaza have stepped up the protests calling for the release of their family members from captivity.
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בנימין נתניהו הפגנה משפחות חטופים
בנימין נתניהו הפגנה משפחות חטופים
Families of the hostages demonstrate calling for their release; Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
(Photos: Shiloh Shalom, Dana Kopel)
In a message directed at the families and other protesters, the PMO statement also said that: "The State of Israel is continuing to make all necessary efforts for the release of the hostages from Hamas and their return to Israel."
The Israeli delegation led by Mossad personnel, arrived on Sunday in the Egyptian capital, where it worked to submit new proposals in an attempt to bring about a hostage deal with Hamas. Before the new round of talks in Cairo, senior Hamas official Osama Hamdan said in an interview with the Al Jazeera network: "We want answers regarding halting the assault on and withdrawal from Gaza, the return of displaced Gaza residents and rehabilitation of homes and other buildings. (Israel) did not provide any commitment in its responses, and its answers were an attempt to delay. We appreciate the efforts of the mediators, but the Israeli side is trying to hinder the negotiations."
The terrorist organization did not send representatives to the talks in Cairo. A source told the Al-Mayadeen network, which is affiliated with Hezbollah, that "the Hamas delegation is waiting for the results of the meetings between the mediators and the Israeli delegation." The main dispute between the parties concerns the issue of the return of Gaza residents to the northern Gaza Strip. Hamas demands a return without restrictions, and the cancellation of the Philadelphi Corridor, carved out by the IDF to divide the Gaza Strip, which serves allows Israel to prevent the return of Hamas members to the north.
On Monday night, senior political officials said that there is a potential for progress toward a hostage deal as part of the talks in Cairo. The initial estimate was that the delegation would return Monday morning, but it remained for an extra day.
"It is still too early for optimism. There is seriousness and business on the part of the Israeli delegation and the Egyptian mediators with one goal - to advance a deal," a senior official said Monday. "We need to see that there is a real proposal on the part of Hamas to move forward, and see how Sinwar chooses to address the current flexibility on the part of Israel on the issues in dispute."
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צעדה של משפחות החטופים לירושלים
צעדה של משפחות החטופים לירושלים
Israelis march with families of the hostages through the streets of Jerusalem
Families of hostages who participated in a rally at Hostage Square in Tel Aviv on Saturday night announced that they would increase the pressure in calling for a deal and have been demonstrating in front of the Knesset every day since.
Some of the participants in demonstrations calling for the release of the hostages first took part in protests on Kaplan Street where they called for early elections. Before that rally, about 20 hostages' families gave a statement in which they said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was the obstacle to the deal.
Einav Tsengauker, the mother hostage Matan Tsengauker, said: "Prime Minister - you are the obstacle to the deal, you are consciously preventing a deal, so we will do everything in our power to remove the obstacle that is you. Today we are forced to start a new phase in the struggle and from now on we will work for your immediate replacement. We will protest and call for your removal. We will demonstrate and call for your impeachment, we will persecute you publicly, we will not let up until you vacate your seat in favor of another leader."
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