Hamas to announce agreement on Egyptian mediation

Hamas will soon announce that it has accepted the Egyptian mediation proposal, Arab media reported on Saturday.

palestinian newspaper Al Quds reported that the announcement would be made within days, while the Qatar government-aligned newspaper Al-Sharq He reported that he would arrive in a few hours.

“In light of recent contacts with brother mediators in Egypt and Qatar, the Hamas delegation will head to Cairo (on) Saturday to complete discussions.” Al-Sharq he quoted Hamas as saying.

The Hamas delegation arrived in Cairo on Saturday morning, Hamas told the Saudi newspaper. Asharq on Saturday. Hamas also said that his main goal would be to achieve a national consensus and rebuild the Strip.

It was also reported that in recent hours Egypt, Qatar, Israel and Hamas have held talks on the number of prisoners to be released under the agreement.

Hamas officials Khalil Al-Hayya and Osama Hamdan attend a news conference in Beirut, Lebanon, November 21, 2023. (Credit: REUTERS/ESA ALEXANDER)

Hamas, according to Al Quds report, also received American guarantees for a permanent cessation of the war and the withdrawal of the IDF from the Gaza Strip in the third phase of the agreement.

Hamas also reportedly said that there is no need for a permanent ceasefire as a precondition for talks, as they are still holding senior IDF officers hostage and will be able to use them as leverage in discussing a further ceasefire. permanent.

The IDF denied that it would give up an invasion of Rafah because of a hostage deal, telling Israeli media: “As decided by the politicians, the IDF will enter Rafah and destroy the remaining Hamas battalions there, whether or not there are a temporary invasion.” ceasefire for the release of our hostages.”

Political officials agreed, saying that a hostage deal was not related to an invasion of Rafah and that the invasion would continue regardless of the success of the deal.

Hamas hints at approval of deal

A senior Hamas official confirmed this to N12 on Saturday morning, saying that Hamas leaders had approved the implementation of the first phase of the hostage deal.

According to the report, the change appears to be due to assurances from the United States, Qatar and Egypt that Israel would completely withdraw from the Gaza Strip at the end of the deal.

Citing Arab media reports, the Israeli newspaper Maariv reported that a senior Saudi official confirmed that Hamas was satisfied with the US assurances.

The N12 report noted that the same source said CIA Director William Burns would return to Cairo on Saturday and meet with Hamas’ top negotiating team.

The source went on to say that part of the assurances was that Israel would not enter Rafah at any point in the deal.

He also confirmed that compromises had been reached on the number of Palestinian hostages and prisoners.

Amid conflicting reports on whether an Israeli operation in Rafah could take place should Hamas accept a proposed hostage deal, Y-Net, citing an Al Jazeera interview with a senior Hamas official, Osama Hamdan, reported that the Islamist organization was confused by the Israeli rhetoric.

“Unfortunately, there was a clear statement from Netanyahu that no matter what may happen, whether there will be a ceasefire or not, he will order the operation in Rafah,” Hamdan said. “This means that there will be no ceasefire and that fighting will continue, which is contrary to what we are discussing. We want to understand what it means. We understand that any ceasefire agreement means that there will be no more attacks on Gaza.” .

“Today’s results will be different. We have reached agreement on many points, and a few remain,” an Egyptian security source told Reuters.

A Palestinian official with knowledge of the mediation efforts expressed cautious optimism.

“Things are looking better this time, but whether a deal is available will depend on whether Israel has offered what is necessary to make that happen,” the official, who asked not to be identified, told Reuters.