Gaza war: Hamas delegation led by Khalil Al-Hayya to travel to Cairo for ceasefire talks

A Hamas delegation, led by Deputy Chief Khalil Al-Hayya, is set to travel to Cairo on Sunday for a new round of ceasefire negotiations.

The movement announced their participation in response to an invitation from Egyptian mediators.

Reports indicate that the talks in Cairo will involve mediators from Qatar and the United States, with CIA Director Bill Burns and Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani in attendance.

An Israeli delegation is also expected to take part in the discussions.

On Friday, US President Joe Biden urged Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani to exert pressure on Hamas for an agreement, according to a senior US administration official quoted by Reuters.

Hamas affirmed in a statement on Saturday their adherence to their demands for a deal, which they presented on March 14.

Demands long expressed by Hamas include a permanent ceasefire, complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza, and the return of displaced individuals to their areas of residence, particularly in northern Gaza.

“We will not back down from this position,” emphasized Hamas.

Cairo, along with Doha and Paris, has hosted multiple rounds of talks in recent weeks with mediators attempting to broker an agreement between Israel and Hamas.

Efforts to secure a truce before Ramadan were unsuccessful, and with Eid Al-Fitr approaching on Wednesday, no deal has been reached to halt or at least pause six months of Israeli aggression in the strip.

Israel has disregarded global calls for a cessation of the conflict in Gaza, as outlined in a UN Security Council resolution passed in late March, which demanded an immediate ceasefire during Ramadan.

The Israeli war since October 7 has resulted in over 33,000 fatalities, nearly 76,000 injuries, and extensive damage to Gaza’s infrastructure.

The need for a ceasefire has reached critical levels as Gaza faces the imminent threat of a devastating famine, exacerbated by Israeli obstruction of vital humanitarian aid.

Furthermore, Israel has revealed plans for a ground invasion in Rafah, located in southern Gaza, which could potentially require the evacuation of around 1.5 million citizens currently seeking shelter in the area.

The international community has expressed deep concern over these plans, fearing further catastrophic humanitarian consequences.