Ramadan Truce Hopes Fade

Hamas reportedly persists in Gaza ceasefire talks despite Israel’s absence; Washington urges Israel to alleviate suffering among civilians…reports Asian Lite News

In ongoing developments, Hamas persists in ceasefire negotiations despite Israel’s notable absence from the dialogue table. Meanwhile, Washington adopts a firm stance, urging Israel to alleviate the plight of suffering civilians amidst the conflict.

Talks, which commenced in Cairo on Sunday, are seen as a pivotal step towards securing the first extended ceasefire in the five-month-old war, with hopes to implement it before the commencement of the Ramadan fasting month on Sunday.

However, Israel has opted not to provide public commentary on the Cairo negotiations or its decision to abstain from participation. Reuters reported that Israel’s decision may stem from Hamas’s refusal to furnish a comprehensive list of hostages’ names still in their custody.

The militant group asserts that they will only disclose this information once mutually agreeable terms have been established. These developments underscore the intricate challenges of negotiating peace amidst ongoing hostilities in Gaza.

It was earlier reported that, Israel’s decision to opt out of truce talks stems from Hamas’ failure to respond to two key Israeli demands — providing a detailed list of hostages, specifying those who are alive and those who are deceased, and confirming the ratio of Palestinian prisoners to be released from Israeli prisons in exchange for the hostages.

The Israeli official, who chose to remain anonymous due to the sensitive nature of diplomatic negotiations, revealed that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in coordination with Mossad director David Barnea, made the decision after receiving information that Hamas had not addressed these conditions.

This move follows Netanyahu’s outlined terms in a speech last Thursday, where he emphasised the need for clarity on the identities of the hostages before progressing with any agreements, according to CNN.

Despite a statement from a senior Biden Administration official indicating that Israel had “basically accepted” a proposed six-week ceasefire, the lack of response from Hamas has led to the cancellation of Israel’s participation in the Cairo talks.

A Hamas delegation arrived in Cairo on Sunday, expressing hope that the discussions would lead to a cessation of hostilities. However, a high-ranking Hamas official has yet to respond to CNN’s inquiry about whether the group has addressed Israel’s conditions.

The remaining sticking points in the negotiations, according to a Hamas source, include establishing a permanent ceasefire, the withdrawal of Israeli troops – referred to as “occupation forces” – from the Gaza Strip, and facilitating the return of displaced individuals from the south to the north.

Despite optimism, a diplomatic source downplayed the prospects of an immediate breakthrough, citing slow progress and suggesting that a deal might not materialise within the next 48 hours, CNN reported.

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