Egypt in renewed mediation push for Gaza truce, sources say

By Thomson Reuters Apr 25, 2024 | 12:37 PM

CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt has asked for a follow-up meeting with Israel in renewed efforts to mediate a deal for a ceasefire and the release of hostages in the Gaza Strip, two Egyptian security sources said on Thursday.

Egyptian, Israeli and U.S. officials held in-person and remote meetings on Wednesday that sought concessions to break a deadlock in months-long negotiations for a truce in the war between Israel and Palestinian group Hamas that began on Oct. 7, the sources said.

Egypt believed Israel had shown more willingness to allow displaced Gazans to return towards the north of the enclave in a way that limited security checks and procedures for those not suspected of militant activity, they added.

The ability of civilians to return to northern Gaza unimpeded and the pull-back or repositioning of Israeli forces have been sticking points in previous rounds of ceasefire negotiations in which Egypt and Qatar have acted as mediators.

A meeting between Egyptian and Israeli officials was expected to take place on Friday in Cairo, the sources said, with further meetings with the Hamas contingent on the result.

The United States and 17 other countries on Thursday issued an appeal for Hamas to release all of its hostages as a pathway to end the crisis in Gaza. Hamas vowed not to relent to international pressure.

(Reporting by Ahmed Mohamed Hassan; Writing by Aidan Lewis; Editing by Bill Berkrot)