Israeli delegation set to head to Cairo as Jerusalem awaits Hamas response to hostage-truce offer

An Israeli delegation is expected to travel to Cairo tomorrow for further hostage talks, according to Hebrew media reports, as Israel continues to wait for Hamas’s response to the latest hostages-for-truce proposal.

“We’re still waiting for [Yahya] Sinwar’s answer,” an unnamed Israeli official is quoted saying by the Walla news site, referring to the Hamas leader in Gaza.

Channel 12 says the Israeli team will be a “working delegation,” and the Mossad chief David Barnea and Shin Bet chief Ronen Bar will join within days if the truce effort is advancing.

Sources tell Channel 12 news that Israel made “dramatic” concessions in its offer to Hamas, and that a deal could quickly be reached if the terror organization drops its demands for an end to the war and the complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza.

To date, Hamas has publicly insisted on an end to the war as a condition for the release of any further hostages.

Israel is widely reported to be demanding the release of 33 children, women, men aged over 50 and elderly hostages, in return for the release of large numbers of Palestinian security prisoners. Hamas is said to claim it holds only 20 living hostages in that “humanitarian” category.

Despite denials, the TV report says Israel has “indicated” to the Egyptians that, in the second phase of a deal, it would be prepared to discuss “long-term calm” in Gaza in exchange for the return of all hostages.

Channel 12 also reports that Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi believe that the much-anticipated Israeli ground operation against Hamas in Rafah can and should wait until after a hostage deal.

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