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Reports Circulating of Egyptian Negotiations over Ending the Gaza War

News reports have been circulating over the previous days of an Egyptian peace proposal for Gaza. Egypt is negotiating for a “comprehensive ceasefire” in return for hostages held by Hamas and prisoners held by Israel, to be followed by a full withdrawal by Israel, an end to the war, and a political transfer of power in Palestine.

According to a report in Israel’s widespread news agency Ynet, referencing a Dec. 31 article in Qatari newspaper Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, Egyptian intelligence and security officials visited Israel last week to gauge that government’s receptiveness to the proposal. Not surprisingly, it appears this has not been favorably received. According to one of the Egyptian officials on the visit, the Prime Minister received the proposal, saying: “it appears that Netanyahu is interested in extending the war as much as possible.”

This was then followed by a visit of Gaza’s leadership to Cairo on Dec. 29, 2023 to further discuss and gauge their receptiveness to the plan. Despite openness to talks on a ceasefire and hostage/prisoner exchanges, the Hamas and Islamic Jihad leaders are reportedly not supportive of any temporary ceasefires in exchange for small numbers of hostages. Reports have proliferated that Hamas was considering a ceasefire over 20-30 days in exchange for releasing 40-50 hostages, which Hamas officials have said are not true, and are only “attempts to evade the pressure from the families of the hostages,” according to Ynet.

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