Gaza truce proposal on table, Egypt says

30 Apr 2024 10:30am
A painted protest sign sits on the grass at a tent encampment established on the campus of the University of Chicago to show support for Palestinians in Gaza on April 29, 2024 in Chicago, Illinois. - Photo by AFP
A painted protest sign sits on the grass at a tent encampment established on the campus of the University of Chicago to show support for Palestinians in Gaza on April 29, 2024 in Chicago, Illinois. - Photo by AFP
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CAIRO - Egypt confirmed Monday that there is a new proposal for a truce in the blockaded Gaza Strip.

"There is a proposal on the table to reach a truce in Gaza,” Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said during a meeting of the World Economic Forum in Saudi Arabia, according to Anadolu Agency.

He called on both Hamas and Israel to study the proposal, without providing any further details.

"We must put an end to the ongoing crisis in Gaza in order to resolve the Palestinian issue," Shoukry said.

The top diplomat renewed Egypt’s rejection of any Israeli military operation in Rafah, home to more than 1.4 million displaced Palestinians.

"We stress the need to avoid a humanitarian catastrophe against civilians,” he added.

An Egyptian intelligence delegation held talks with Israeli officials on Friday to discuss a proposed ceasefire deal in the Gaza Strip.

The new proposal includes Israel’s willingness to discuss the "restoration of sustainable calm” in Gaza after an initial release of hostages on humanitarian grounds, it reported two Israeli officials told Axios news website.

A Hamas delegation was due to visit Egypt on Monday to deliver its response to the truce proposal.

An Israeli delegation is also expected to visit Egypt on Tuesday to pursue indirect negotiations with Hamas for a Gaza cease-fire, Anadolu citing public broadcaster KAN reported.

Hamas is estimated to be holding more than 130 Israeli hostages, while Tel Aviv is holding more than 9,100 Palestinians in its jails.

Hamas demands an end to Israel’s deadly offensive on the Gaza Strip and the withdrawal of the Israeli forces from the territory for any hostage-prisoner swap deal with Tel Aviv.

Nearly 34,500 Palestinians have been killed, mostly women and children, and over 77,600 others injured amid mass destruction and severe shortages of necessities, since Israel waged a brutal offensive on the Palestinian enclave on Oct 7, last year.

More than six months into the war, vast swathes of Gaza lay in ruins, pushing 85 per cent of the enclave’s population into internal displacement amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine, according to the UN.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza. - BERNAMA

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