Mediators expected in Cairo for Gaza truce talks as soon as Sunday, sources say

Mediators are expected to reconvene in Cairo as soon as Sunday and search for a formula acceptable to Israel and Hamas for a temporary truce in Gaza and a hostage release deal, sources with knowledge of the talks say.

Israeli and Hamas delegations were expected to arrive in Cairo today, two Egyptian security sources say, although another source briefed on the talks says Israel would not send a delegation until it got a full list of hostages who are still alive.

Hopes for the first pause in fighting since November rose last week following a previous round of talks mediated by Qatar and Egypt in Doha, and indications from US President Joe Biden that an agreement was close.

A senior US official said earlier that the framework for a six-week pause in fighting was in place, with Israel’s agreement, and now depended on Hamas agreeing to release hostages it has held in Gaza since its shock attack on southern Israel on October 7, when thousands of terrorists went on a killing rampage, slaughtering 1,200 people and taking 253 hostages.

“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. The Israelis have more or less accepted it,” the official told reporters. “The onus right now is on Hamas.”

Biden has said he hopes a deal will be in place by the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which starts on March 10.

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