Gaza war: Hopes for ceasefire falter ahead of Ramadan


(BBC), Hopes had been high over the past week following talks in Paris that there could be a new Gaza ceasefire deal in place for the start of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan next week.

However, while Hamas has now sent a delegation to Cairo for further negotiations with Egyptian and Qatari mediators, Israel has not. This looks like a serious new block.

Israeli officials – quoted in local media – demand clear answers from Hamas on key issues as well as a list of the surviving Israeli hostages who could be released with an agreement.

Meanwhile, a senior Hamas official, Dr Basem Naim, told the BBC on Sunday that “practically, it is impossible to know who is still alive” because of continuing Israeli bombing.

“They are in different areas with different groups. We have asked for a ceasefire to collect that data,” he added.

Dr Naim went on to say that such “valuable information” about the hostages could not be given “for free”. He, and other senior Hamas figures, have also been continuing to demand a full ceasefire and withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza, rather than a temporary truce.

The US and regional players with leverage will now be putting pressure on both Israel and Hamas trying to shore up recent progress on the potential deal.

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