Israel not sending delegation to Cairo talks until Hamas replies to deal offer

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

Israel has decided it will not be sending a delegation to Cairo for hostage talks yet, an Israeli official tells The Times of Israel.

“We will wait for answers on Wednesday night and then decide,” says the official.

Israel is awaiting a Hamas reply to its latest truce offer, which includes a 40-day pause in fighting and the release of potentially thousands of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Israeli hostages, with Israel reportedly making “dramatic” concessions, including lowering the number of hostages it is seeking to see released in a first stage of the deal.

Hebrew media had reported on Monday evening that a delegation was expected to travel to Cairo on Tuesday for further talks, but an Israeli official told The Times of Israel last night that discussions in the Kirya were ongoing and no firm decision had been made.

A Hamas delegation had left Cairo with a promise to return with a written response to the Israeli proposal, Egypt’s state-affiliated Al Qahera TV reported late Monday.

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