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Hamas to hold meeting on Egypt’s cease-fire plan for Gaza

AFP – A Hamas delegation is expected to visit Cairo to discuss Egypt’s cease-fire plan for Gaza, an official said Thursday.

The plan was put last week to officials of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, which is also battling Israeli invaders in the territory, when the chiefs of both movements visited the Egyptian capital.

Sources close to Hamas say Cairo’s three-stage plan provides for renewable cease-fires, a staggered release of hostages held by Hamas in exchange for Palestinians held by Israel, and ultimately a cease-fire to end Israel’s indiscriminate attacks on Gaza.

It also provides for a Palestinian government of technocrats after talks involving “all Palestinian factions,” which would be responsible for governing and rebuilding postwar Gaza.

Since Oct. 7, Israel’s relentless aerial bombardment and ground invasion have killed at least 21,320 Palestinians, mostly women and children, to avenge a Hamas attack on Israel that left about 1,140 dead, according to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) tally based on Israeli figures.

The Hamas official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP on Thursday about the planned visit by the Qatar-based Hamas political office.

“A high-level delegation from the Hamas political office will visit Cairo tomorrow to meet Egyptian officials and give the response of the Palestinian factions, including several observations, to their plan,” the official said.

The official said these observations focus on “the modalities of the planned exchanges and the number of Palestinian prisoners to be freed, as well as obtaining guarantees for a complete Israeli military withdrawal from Gaza.”

Qatar, backed by Egypt and the United States, last month helped broker a first weeklong truce in which 80 Israelis were freed in exchange for 240 Palestinians held captive by Israel.

Diaa Rashwan, who heads Egypt’s State Information Services, confirmed on Thursday that Cairo had put forward “a framework intended to bring together the views of all parties concerned, with the aim of ending the shedding of Palestinian blood, stopping the aggression against the Gaza Strip, and restoring regional peace and security.”

“This proposal comprises three successive and interconnected stages leading to a cease-fire,” Rashwan’s statement said.

Rashwan said Egypt had not yet received a response to its initiative which would be made public “in detail” when Cairo had received feedback from all concerned.

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