ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 140

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Egyptian official says Cairo meeting to focus on ‘final draft’ of six-week truce deal

People stand around craters caused by Israeli strikes in Rafah on the southern Gaza Strip on February 12, 2024. (SAID KHATIB / AFP)
People stand around craters caused by Israeli strikes in Rafah on the southern Gaza Strip on February 12, 2024. (SAID KHATIB / AFP)

Israel and Hamas are making progress toward a deal that aims to bring about a ceasefire and free hostages held in the war-ravaged Gaza Strip, according to two officials with direct knowledge of the talks, as key meetings continue today between the sides in the Egyptian capital.

A senior Egyptian official says mediators have achieved what he describes as “relatively significant” progress in the negotiations between Israel and Hamas ahead of the scheduled meeting in Cairo today of representatives from Qatar, US and Israel.

The Egyptian official says the meeting will focus on “crafting a final draft” of a six-week ceasefire deal, with guarantees that the parties will continue negotiations toward a permanent ceasefire.

A Western diplomat in the Egyptian capital also says a six-week deal is on the table but cautions that more work is still needed to reach an agreement.

He says the meeting today will be crucial in bridging the remaining gaps to get the two sides to agree on a six-week truce and embark on talks for a final ceasefire deal.

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