April 14, 2024
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Cairo Hostage-for-Ceasefire Talks Extended Three Days

(JNS) At press time, The New York Times had reported that negotiations in Cairo over a possible hostage-for-ceasefire deal would continue until Friday, Feb. 16, citing an Egyptian official briefed on the talks.

The initial meeting took place with the participation of high-ranking officials from Israel, the United States, Egypt and Qatar, while the extended multilateral talks will involve lower-level officials, according to the report.

Led by Mossad Director David Barnea, the Israelis sat down with American, Egyptian and Qatari mediators in an attempt to secure the release of the 134 hostages remaining in the hands of Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli group also included Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) head Ronen Bar. It met with CIA Director Bill Burns, head of Egyptian intelligence Maj. Gen. Abbas Kamel and Qatari Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani.

U.S. President Joe Biden said alongside Jordanian King Abdullah II at the White House on Monday that the deal under discussion would include six weeks of an “immediate and sustained period of calm” in Gaza, which could then lead to “something more enduring.”

A senior Egyptian official and a Western diplomat confirmed to the Associated Press on Tuesday that a six-week ceasefire is on the table, with the Egyptian official saying that the summit will focus on “crafting a final draft” of the proposal, with guarantees of further negotiations toward a permanent ceasefire.

The Western diplomat cautioned that more work is necessary to reach an agreement, saying that the Tuesday meeting was critical to bridging gaps between the sides, while the Egyptian official commented that “relatively significant” progress had already been made.

 

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