Thu 22 Feb 2024 5:52 pm - Jerusalem Time

Hebrew Newspaper: The Paris summit with Israeli participation and Washington does not want a war during Ramadan..

The administration of US President Joe Biden is pushing for a ceasefire in the Strip before the start of Ramadan on March 10, as US officials believe that releasing prisoners will be the only possible way to bring the first truce closer, which may also put an end to the war.

Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper reported today, Thursday, that moving the talks from Cairo to Paris is “more than just moving the place,” and that the goal is to return to the deal plan that was agreed upon in the Paris talks at the beginning of this month and progress from this point.

The current plan, according to the newspaper, provides for the exchange of Palestinian and Israeli prisoners, a truce that will last for several weeks, and a change in the deployment of Israeli army forces in the Gaza Strip. However, there has not yet been an agreement on the number of prisoners who will be released, the duration of the truce, and the locations of the deployment of Israeli forces. The discrepancy between the initial positions of Israel and Hamas is also large.

Meanwhile, there are estimates that Israel will send a delegation to the Paris summit, which will be held on Saturday with the participation of CIA Director William Burns, Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed Al Thani, and Egyptian Intelligence Chief Abbas Kamal. Earlier, sources in Israel warned that if Hamas continued to pose major obstacles to the deal, Israel would not send a delegation to the summit.

A source familiar with the talks told CNN that the next two weeks of negotiations, before the start of Ramadan, will be “decisive.”

Washington fears that Israel's aggressive military offensive during Ramadan will only increase tensions throughout the region.

US officials reportedly specifically warned Israel against heading south towards Rafah, where some 1.5 million Gazans have fled. They said that ensuring the safety of these citizens is an "impossible mission."

Reportedly, it is not clear to the parties involved in the discussions to what extent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prefers a truce in the fighting to the Rafah process. "Netanyahu does not seem ready to make any agreement at the moment," the diplomat said. Despite some progress in recent weeks, deal talks are now more complex than the first round of negotiations, the sources said.

It was also reported that in the new deal talks that took place in Cairo last week, with the participation of the chiefs of US and Egyptian intelligence and the prime minister of Qatar, the Israeli delegation headed by Mossad chief David Barnea participated and was willing to discuss only the humanitarian aid aspects of the deal, not the other components.

Meanwhile, Hamas indicates its interest in “reaching urgent understandings,” while a delegation of the movement’s senior officials is in Cairo. A member of the Hamas political bureau, Muhammad Nazzal, said yesterday: “We are seeking to reach a ceasefire, and there is a fierce battle, whether on the ground or in the negotiations. A Hamas delegation is in Cairo to negotiate a new deal.”

In Israel, they are still impatiently awaiting the answers that the mediators will receive from the Hamas delegation present in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, in preparation for the possible resumption of negotiations on the exchange deal. The answers are supposed to arrive in Israel the next day.

According to information obtained by Yedioth Ahronoth from reliable sources, the Hamas leadership in Qatar received a message a few days ago from the movement’s leadership in the Gaza Strip. The message was delivered after a long break between the two leaderships. The countries mediating the issue of the potential kidnapping deal have been led to estimate that it is not possible to contact Hamas leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar.

This message comes amid international efforts to advance the deal while 134 Israeli prisoners are still being held by Hamas in Gaza. It appears from the leadership's message in Gaza that Hamas should mainly discuss a partial "humanitarian" deal, not a comprehensive deal.

It also appears from the leadership’s message in Gaza that it is possible to reduce the demands regarding the number of released security prisoners in Israel, while at the same time also reducing the demands regarding the number of released security prisoners in Israeli prisons, as well as the international guarantees demanded by Hamas regarding the restoration of the Gaza Strip, Israel’s withdrawal from its lands, and the cessation of hostilities by the Israeli army.

Source: Sama News


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Hebrew Newspaper: The Paris summit with Israeli participation and Washington does not want a war during Ramadan..