No progress in Cairo talks between Hamas and mediators

No progress in Gaza cease-fire talks

Israel declaró la guerra a Hamás el 8 de octubre tras un asalto terrestre, aéreo y marítimo por parte del grupo terrorista con sede en Gaza - AFP/JACK GUEZ
Israel declared war on Hamas on 8 October following a ground, air and sea assault by the Gaza-based terror group - AFP/JACK GUEZ

Gaza ceasefire talks between Hamas and mediators have continued in Cairo without progress. 

  1. Last hope

Negotiators from Hamas, Qatar and Egypt, with Israel absent, travelled to Cairo trying to secure a 40-day ceasefire in the war between Israel and the Islamist group in time for the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which begins early next week. 

The news is not good because Ramadan, the Muslim holy month, is approaching and fighting continues over Gazan territory.  

Hamas leader Bassem Naim told Reuters that his party had presented its proposal for a ceasefire agreement to the mediators during two days of talks, and was now awaiting a response from the Israelis, who remained on the sidelines of this round of talks in Cairo. "Benjamin Netanyahu does not want to reach an agreement and the ball is now in the Americans' court" to press him for a deal, Naim said.

The United States has been vocal in urging Israel to reach a ceasefire in Gaza, but for the time being the Israeli state continues to fight Hamas over Gaza territory, still in response to the terrorist group's horrific attacks on Israeli territory on 7 October that left around 1,200 people dead. For the moment, the number of casualties in Gaza as a result of the war between Israel and Hamas is in the tens of thousands. 

The American giant, a great ally of Israel, has indicated that there is an agreement with Israel with certain conditions, which should be accepted by Hamas, something that the extremist formation rejects and which it sees as an attempt to divert the focus from the Israeli country in the event that the talks do not crystallise.  

Israel has so far refused to comment on the Cairo peace talks. Although informed sources told Reuters that Israel was staying on the sidelines because Hamas had rejected its demand to provide a list of all hostages still alive. Bassem Naim said this was impossible without a prior ceasefire, as the hostages were scattered around the war zone and in the hands of separate groups.

Un combatiente de Hamás hace guardia mientras un vehículo de la Cruz Roja transporta a rehenes recién liberados en Rafah, en el sur de la Franja de Gaza, el 28 de noviembre de 2023 - AFP
A Hamas fighter stands guard as a Red Cross vehicle transports newly freed hostages in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, 28 November 2023 - AFP

Last hope

The Cairo talks were a hope for the first prolonged ceasefire of the war, with the aim of freeing more hostages and allowing more aid into Gaza to fight the famine before Ramadan, which starts soon. Famine lurks in Gaza due to the lack of supplies and the blockade imposed on the area.  

Egyptian security sources said on Monday that they were still in contact with the Israelis to allow negotiations to continue without the presence of an Israeli delegation.

For its part, Hamas has said it will continue to negotiate a ceasefire as Ramadan approaches. This is despite the absence of Israeli negotiators at the latest talks in Cairo.