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Cease-fire talks between Hamas and Israel to resume next week

Hamas announced on Thursday that its delegates have departed Cairo, with discussions on establishing a Gaza cease-fire and facilitating hostage releases set to continue next week. This timing makes the prospect of reaching an agreement before the commencement of Ramadan highly unlikely. Despite an earlier assertion from Egyptian officials that negotiations hit a roadblock over Hamas’ phased process demand, hopes for a resolution before the holy month remained.

Efforts led by the U.S., Egypt, and Qatar to mediate a six-week truce and secure the release of 40 individuals held in Gaza, in exchange for Palestinians detained in Israel, have been ongoing for weeks. Although Hamas has concurred with the initial terms of such an agreement, it seeks assurances for a subsequent, enduring cease-fire.

The challenge lies in Hamas’ insistence on retaining all remaining hostages until a complete Israeli withdrawal is executed, coupled with Israel’s refusal to meet demands for releasing prisoners, including prominent militants. As mediators continue urging both parties to moderate their stances, the anticipation of Ramadan, a period often marked by heightened Israeli-Palestinian tensions, adds complexity to the negotiations.

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