Hamas leader visits Cairo as talks over another Gaza cease-fire gather pace

Hamas’ top leader traveled to Cairo on Wednesday for talks on the war in Gaza, part of a flurry of diplomacy aimed at securing another cease-fire and swap of hostages for Palestinian prisoners at a moment when Israel’s offensive shows no signs of slowing.

Hamas militants have been putting up stiff resistance, even as the Israeli army claims to be making great progress in eradicating them. The visit to Cairo by its top leader, Ismail Haniyeh, came a day after Hamas fired rockets that set off air raid sirens in central Israel. It was a show of strength after a 10-week war that has devastated much of northern Gaza, killed nearly 20,000 Palestinians, and driven some 1.9 million — nearly 85% of the population — from their homes.

Israel has called on the rest of the world to blacklist Hamas as a terrorist organization, saying it must be removed from power in Gaza in the wake of its Oct. 7 rampage across southern Israel that triggered the war.

But the sides have recently relaunched indirect talks, mediated by Egypt, Qatar and the United States. The goal is to achieve another cease-fire, and to free more hostages Hamas took in its attack in exchange for Palestinians imprisoned by Israel.

“These are very serious discussions and negotiations, and we hope that they lead somewhere,” the White House’s national security spokesman, John Kirby, said Wednesday aboard Air Force One while traveling with President Joe Biden to Wisconsin.

  • December 20, 2023
  • Articles,
  • This post was written by