CAIRO: A Hamas delegation will visit Cairo on Monday for talks aimed at securing a ceasefire, a Hamas official said on Sunday, as mediators stepped up efforts to reach a deal ahead of an Israeli assault on the southern city of Rafah.

The official, who asked not to be named, said the delegation would discuss a ceasefire proposals handed by Hamas and Israel to mediators Qatar and Egypt. He did not disclose details of the latest proposals.

Israeli attacks on Gaza killed more than 34,000 Palestinians, 66 of them in the past 24 hours, according to Gaza’s health authorities. The air strikes and ground assault also displaced most of the 2.3 million people and laid much of the densely populated enclave to waste.

On Friday, senior Hamas official Khalil Al-Hayya said the group had received Israel’s response to its ceasefire proposal and was studying it before handing its response to Egyptian and Qatari mediators.

Prior rounds of talks have failed to bridge the gap between the two sides, as Hamas wants an accord for a permanent end to the war.

Published in Dawn, April 29th, 2024

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