Israeli delegation invited to Cairo for hostage talks, in parallel with Hamas — report

Egypt has reportedly invited an Israeli delegation to travel to Cairo today, amid ongoing negotiations to secure a deal for the return of hostages held by Hamas, with the terror group also expected to attend.

Qatari-owned outlet Al-Arabi Al-Jadid quotes Egyptian sources as saying that the invitation “aims to speed up the process and provide the necessary clarifications regarding the observations that will be presented by the Hamas delegation that will visit Cairo.”

“The invited Israeli delegation is scheduled to be authorized to provide answers to the inquiries raised by Hamas, without being authorized to make decisions or present official positions,” the source is quoted as saying.

Egypt, which along with Qatar and the United States has been unsuccessfully trying to broker a new Gaza truce deal ever since a one-week halt to the fighting in November, sent a high-level delegation to Israel on Friday.

The terms of the current Israeli-backed proposal have not been published but are reported to provide for the release of 33 living hostages who meet a so-called “humanitarian” designation — that is, women, children, men aged over 50 and the sick.

In return, Israel would release a far larger number of Palestinian security prisoners, including many with blood on their hands.

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