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MAJOR IMPASSE: Israel Won’t Send Delegation To Cairo After Hamas Refuses To Provide List Of Live Hostages

Negotiations for a hostage deal and ceasefire in Cairo hit a major impasse early Sunday afternoon as Hamas refused Israel’s demand to provide a list of the hostages who are still alive, Israeli news outlets reported.

Instead, Hamas sent a partial response to a hostage release/ceasefire proposal without even mentioning the demand for the list of live hostages. Hamas also did not respond to Israel’s request for an answer to the number of Palestinian prisoners it is demanding for the release of each hostage.

“Israel does not intend to send a delegation to Cairo under these circumstances,” senior Israeli officials said on Sunday.

Earlier on Sunday, Egyptian news outlets reported that delegations from Qatar and the United States arrived in Cairo on Sunday for “another round of negotiations” on an agreement for a temporary ceasefire and hostage release deal and Israeli and Hamas delegations are expected to arrive later in the day.

According to an Axios report on Friday, Israel told Egypt and Qatar that it will not continue negotiations until Hamas provides a list of hostages who are still alive and provides a serious response to the number of Palestinian prisoners that the mediators proposed to be released as part of the deal.

Senior Israeli officials said last week that the Israeli delegation returned to Israel on Thursday without answers. “The mediators promised that Hamas would give numbers and that didn’t happen,” said an Israeli official.

“There is no point in starting another round of talks until we receive the lists of which of the hostages are alive and until Hamas gives its answer regarding the ‘ratio’ that defines how many prisoners will be released for each hostage,” an Israeli official said.

A senior American official said on Saturday that the framework for a six-week ceasefire was approved by Israel and it now depends on Hamas agreeing to release hostages.

A senior Palestinian official briefed on the talks told Reuters that they are still not close to finalizing a deal. A senior Hamas official told the French news agency AFP that if Israel meets Hamas’ demands, which include a full military withdrawal from Gaza and the introduction of increased humanitarian aid, this will “pave the way for an agreement within the next 24-48 hours.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)

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