Gaza ceasefire: Israel pulls out of Cairo talks after Hamas refuses to give hostage list

The talks were considered the final hurdle before a ceasefire could be reached

Israel-Netanyahu-Gaza-plan-reuters Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Israel is reportedly pulling out of ceasefire talks in Cairo after Palestinian militant group Hamas refused to provide the list of hostages who are alive. The refusal of Hamas to confirm the ratio of Palestinian prisoners to be released from Israeli prisons in exchange for the hostages has also irked Israel that it decided not to send a delegation to Egypt for talks. 

Though the Hamas delegation arrived in Cairo for talks, there was no sign of the Israeli delegation, according to Ynet, the website of Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth. The talks were considered the final hurdle before a ceasefire agreement could be reached. Last week, US President Joe Biden had said that a ceasefire deal could be in place by Ramadan.

Sources told CNN that the decision not to send an Israeli delegation was made by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in coordination with Mossad director David Barnea. The source added that Barnea received a message that Hamas had not responded to the conditions. 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said last week that he would want to know the names in advance. "I demand to know in advance the names of all the hostages who will be included in the outline. I have yet to receive an answer to the two questions and it is too early to say, in spite of our willingness, if we will achieve an outline for an additional release in the coming days."

Israel could also stay away unless Hamas presented the full list of hostages, a deal which the militant group refuses to agree. "The path to a ceasefire right now literally at this hour is straightforward. And there's a deal on the table. There's a framework deal. Israel had agreed to the framework and it was now up to Hamas to respond," a U.S. official was quoted by Reuters

Meanwhile, US Vice President Kamala Harris has called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza for at least the next six weeks. The Vice-President also urged the Netanyahu government to "do more" to increase the flow of aid in the war-ravaged enclave.

Harris made the ceasefire call on Sunday during a speech in Selma, Alabama, to commemorate the 59th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, the annual remembrance of the landmark civil rights movement.

"The threat Hamas poses to the people of Israel must be eliminated, and given the immense scale of suffering in Gaza, there must be an immediate ceasefire for at least the next six weeks, which is what is currently on the table," Harris said.

"This will get the hostages out and get a significant amount of aid. This would allow us to build something more enduring to ensure Israel is more secure and to respect the right of the Palestinian people to dignity, freedom, and self-determination," the Indian-American leader said.


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