Gaza: negotiations resume in Cairo on a possible truce during Ramadan

Representatives of Hamas, Qatar and the United States are in Cairo on Sunday March 3 to “start a new round of negotiations” with a view to a truce in the Gaza Strip, according to the pro-government Egyptian media Al-Qahera

Gaza: negotiations resume in Cairo on a possible truce during Ramadan

Representatives of Hamas, Qatar and the United States are in Cairo on Sunday March 3 to “start a new round of negotiations” with a view to a truce in the Gaza Strip, according to the pro-government Egyptian media Al-Qahera. On Friday, Joe Biden repeated “hope” for a truce by Ramadan, the holy month of Muslim fasting, which will begin on March 10 or 11 this year.

In the Egyptian capital, a Hamas delegation must give an “official response” to a proposal drawn up at the end of January by the mediating countries – Qatar, United States, Egypt – and Israeli negotiators, according to a source close to the Palestinian Islamist movement.

The proposal includes, in a “first phase,” a six-week pause in fighting and the release of 42 hostages held in Gaza, in exchange for Palestinians imprisoned by Israel. The Israelis have “more or less accepted” the plan and “the ball is in Hamas’ court,” a senior American official in Washington assured Saturday. Israel has not confirmed this information.

Benjamin Netanyahu also faces pressure from relatives of the hostages to reach an agreement with Hamas on their release. On Saturday, thousands of demonstrators in Jerusalem completed a four-day march that began near the border with Gaza. “We want them to go home, we want them to be alive,” one protester told Agence France-Presse (AFP). “We don’t want to wait any longer. »

Famine “almost inevitable”

The mediating countries have been trying for weeks to obtain a truce in the war which has killed 30,410 Palestinians since October 7, according to the latest report from the Hamas health ministry, published on Sunday. He also reported, in a statement, 90 deaths in the last 24 hours and a total of 71,700 injured in the Palestinian territory since the start of the war. On the Israeli side, at least 1,160 people died in the October 7 attack, the majority of them civilians, according to a count by Agence France-Presse (AFP) based on official Israeli data.

During the night from Saturday to Sunday, several airstrikes targeted the towns of Khan Younes and Rafah, in the South, according to an AFP correspondent in Gaza.

In almost five months, the war has also caused a humanitarian catastrophe. The UN says 2.2 million of the country's 2.4 million people are at risk of "almost inevitable" famine, according to Jens Laerke, spokesperson for OCHA, the coordinating agency for humanitarian affairs. United Nations. The Hamas health ministry reported sixteen children dying from “malnutrition and dehydration” in recent days.