Israeli delegation reaches Egypt for hostage release, ceasefire negotiations

Tel Aviv, Jan 10 (IANS): An Israeli delegation on Wednesday reached Cairo, Egypt for negotiations with Hamas over a possible ceasefire and hostage release.

The US Secretary of State Antony Blinken who is on a whirlwind tour of the Middle East will also reach Cairo on Thursday for the talks.

Egypt and Qatar have been meditating for a possible ceasefire and exchange of prisoners while the US had also participated in the mediation earlier, led by CIA Chief William Burns.

However, the negotiations were disrupted following the assassination of Deputy Political Head of Hamas Saleh al-Arouri who was killed in a drone attack in Beirut in an Israeli airstrike.

The Hamas leadership has insisted on complete cessation of war before any hostage release can be negotiated which was rejected by Israel.

After a weeklong ceasefire from November 24 to December 1, the war between Hamas and Israel has not stopped.

At least 105 hostages kidnapped by Hamas during the October 7 attack were released in exchange for 324 Palestinian prisoners held in Israel jails. Three of the Israeli hostages died in an accidental fire by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) while four were released before the one week ceasefire. One woman soldier who was held as hostage was rescued by the Israeli army.

According to Israel Intelligence Shin Bet and the Military Intelligence around 25 hostages have been killed while in Hamas custody.



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Title: Israeli delegation reaches Egypt for hostage release, ceasefire negotiations

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