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Progress in Indirect Truce Talks Between Israel, Hamas Offers Hope to Displaced Palestinians

By Xinhua|Feb 02,2024

People leave their homes after receiving evacuation orders from Israel in the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis, on Jan. 29, 2024. (Photo/Xinhua)

Gaza - Palestinians in the besieged coastal enclave of the Gaza Strip have expressed hope of witnessing a real ceasefire between Hamas and Israel as their indirect negotiations have progressed after 118 days of bloody conflict in the territory.

According to media reports, a Hamas delegation is due to be currently visiting Egypt for truce talks. The delegation is expected to meet with Abbas Kamel, head of Egypt's General Intelligence Service, to discuss the framework agreement on a truce in Gaza issued by the recent Paris meeting, which outlined several stages to achieve a Gaza ceasefire, according to unnamed Palestinian sources.

The sources said that "so far, the negotiations have made significant progress, and we may witness a ceasefire in Gaza at the beginning of the next week if it is guaranteed that Israel will adhere to the Paris proposal."

People queue to fetch water in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah, Jan. 31, 2024. (Photo/Xinhua)

Mamdouh Abu Kumail, a Gaza resident, is excited about such news, saying, "All of us (Palestinians and Israelis) need to end this war in Gaza."

The 62-year-old man hopes a new agreement will be reached to "allow us to return to our houses to check our losses and even to manage our new lives based on the new circumstances resulting from the devastating war."

Sami Abu Salem, a Jabalia-based Palestinian man, holds the same hope, saying, "Neither Hamas nor Israel has achieved their goals in this war. So, we need it to end as soon as possible."

The 50-year-old father of four added that "it is better to solve the conflict through diplomatic ways instead of military methods, which only affected the civilians."

People are seen after rainfall at a temporary camp in the southern Gaza Strip city of Rafah, on Jan. 28, 2024. (Photo/Xinhua)

Khadija al-Ojaili from Khan Younis told Xinhua that "the possible ceasefire will be the only way for her to meet her four children, who are now trapped in Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza" while she has been displaced to Rafah city.

"I have not seen my children for more than three months since I moved to Abu Yousef Al-Najjar Hospital in Rafah to receive treatment for my injuries from an Israeli attack on our house," lamented the 39-year-old woman.

"I cannot stand to stay far away from them for a longer time. They need me," she said, in the hope of witnessing a ceasefire and returning home the soonest possible.

The about 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza have been living in difficult conditions since Oct. 7, 2023, after Israel declared a large-scale offensive against the enclave in response to an unexpected Hamas attack on southern Israel, which killed about 1,200 Israelis.

The Palestinian death toll from the ongoing Israeli attacks in Gaza has reached 27,019, with 66,139 others wounded, the Gaza-based Health Ministry said Thursday in a statement.

On Sunday, a meeting was held in the French capital of Paris, attended by senior intelligence and government officials from the United States, Israel, Qatar, and Egypt, to discuss a deal to end the Hamas-Israel conflict in Gaza.

The Israeli delegation was led by David Barnea, chief of the Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency, and Ronen Bar, head of the Shin Bet, the Israeli internal security agency.

But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed Tuesday that his government will not release Palestinian prisoners or withdraw forces from Gaza, despite the international efforts to achieve a ceasefire deal.


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