May 22, 2024

AFP, CAIRO: Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh arrived in Cairo Tuesday for talks with Egyptian officials, the militant group said, days after mediators said prospects for a new truce with Israel had dimmed.

The Qatar-based head of Hamas’s political bureau will “hold discussions with Egyptian officials on the political situation and the situation in the field”, a statement said.

The delegation will also discuss “efforts to stop the aggression, provide relief to citizens and achieve the goals of our Palestinian people,” it added.

Despite a flurry of meetings with both Israeli and Hamas negotiators last week, Egyptian, Qatari and US mediators made no headway in their efforts to pause more than four months of relentless fighting.

“The pattern in the last few days is not really very promising,” Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday.

In a statement on Saturday, Haniyeh renewed Hamas’s demands, even though some of them have been dismissed as “delusional” by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The demands include a ceasefire, an Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, an end to Israel’s blockade of the territory and safe shelter for hundreds of thousands of displaced Palestinian civilians.

Israel has vowed to destroy Hamas in response to its unprecedented October 7 attack that resulted in the deaths of 1,160 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally of official Israeli figures.

Its retaliatory offensive has killed 29,195 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the Hamas-run territory’s health ministry.

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