Gaza ceasefire talks underway in Egypt

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The efforts go on in the Egyptian capital Cairo by Palestinian groups to discuss a possible ceasefire with Israel after two sides agreed to hold a five-hour ceasefire to allow UN humanitarian aid to enter the Gaza Strip.
Despite conflicting reports over a ceasefire scheduled to be implemented since early Friday, a Hamas official denied a ceasefire deal with Israel has been reached, reported Ma’an News Agency.

“The news about a ceasefire is incorrect. There are continuing efforts but no agreement until now,” said Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri.

Israel and Hamas agreed to hold a five-hour ceasefire to allow UN humanitarian aid to enter the Gaza Strip on Thursday. Meanwhile, minutes before the five-hour truce went into effect, an Israeli tank fire hit a house in southern Gaza, killing three people.

The ceasefire was proposed by the UN special envoy for United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process after Israeli shelling killed four children playing on a beach near Gaza City, leading to international outcry.

On Thursday afternoon, the president of the Palestinian national unity government, Mahmoud Abbas met with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. During the closed-door meeting, the two sides discussed Israeli violations, reiterating the consolidation of Egypt Plan to stop the massacre of Palestinians in Gaza.

Palestinian factions including Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), Islamic Jihad Movement, and Fatah -who hold negotiations within themselves- are meeting Turkish officials on Friday to discuss the truce and Gaza developments.

Israel has launched a new wave of military strikes on the besieged Gaza Strip after tensions raged between Palestinians and Israelis following the burning alive of a Palestinian teen in East al-Quds by Israeli settlers.

16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir’s death sparked a wave of protests across the Palestinian territories earlier this month.

It came a few days after the Israeli military found the dead bodies of three settler teenagers who had been allegedly kidnapped in the occupied West Bank.

Israel was quick to point the finger of blame at the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas. The resistance group, however, strongly rejected the allegations, saying Tel Aviv, which was outraged with the formation of a Palestinian unity government, was looking for a pretext to launch a new aggression against the people of Gaza.

Over 230 people have been killed in the Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip so far. According to the United Nations, nearly 80 percent of the victims are civilians.

By Tasnim News Agency


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