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Egypt gets 'positive signs' from Hamas on Gaza truce — report

By AFP - Jun 07,2024 - Last updated at Jun 07,2024

A Palestinian boy looks at a pool of blood at a UN-school housing displaced people that was hit during Israeli bombardment in Nuseirat, in the central Gaza Strip, on Thursday, amid the ongoing Israeli war on the Palestinian territory (AFP photo)

CAIRO — Egypt has received encouraging signals from Hamas over a potential Gaza truce and hostage-prisoner swap with Israel, state-linked Al Qahera News said on Thursday, citing a high-level source.

Cairo has been engaged along with fellow mediators Doha and Washington in months of negotiations for a ceasefire aimed at ending the Hamas-Israel war in the Gaza Strip.

"Hamas leaders have informed us that they are studying the truce proposal seriously and positively," Al Qahera quoted the source as saying.

The source, who was not named, said the Palestinian group was expected to respond to the proposal in the coming days.

Egypt, which invited Hamas leaders to negotiations in Cairo, had “received positive signs from the Palestinian movement signalling its aspiration for a ceasefire”, the source added.

The comments came a day after Hamas representatives met in Doha with Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani and Egypt’s intelligence chief Abbas Kamel.

Apart from a seven-day ceasefire in November, during which more than 100 hostages were released in exchange for 240 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails, mediation efforts have failed to stop the conflict.

Last week US President Joe Biden unveiled a “roadmap to an enduring ceasefire” that would see Israel withdraw from Gaza’s population centres and Hamas release hostages.

On Thursday, Biden and 16 other world leaders urged Hamas to accept the proposal.

Israel’s military offensive on Gaza has killed at least 36,654 people since October 7, mostly civilians, according to the Hamas-run territory’s health ministry.

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