Senior Hamas official says no hostages will be released until a ceasefire is achieved

File: Senior Hamas official Osama Hamdan speaks during a rally organized by Lebanon's Hezbollah terror group to express solidarity with the Palestinian people, in the southern suburb of Beirut, May 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)
File: Senior Hamas official Osama Hamdan speaks during a rally organized by Lebanon's Hezbollah terror group to express solidarity with the Palestinian people, in the southern suburb of Beirut, May 17, 2021. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

The release of hostages from captivity in Gaza can only happen after a ceasefire takes place, senior Hamas official Osama Hamdan says after the third day of negotiations with Egyptian and Qatari mediators in Cairo.

“We say to Washington, what is more important than sending aid [to Gaza] is stopping its supply of weapons to Israel,” he tells a press conference in Beirut.

The Cairo talks have been billed as a final hurdle to reach the war’s first extended ceasefire — a 40-day truce during which hostages would be freed and aid would be pumped into Gaza to stave off famine ahead of Ramadan, which is due to begin at the start of next week.

As of Tuesday, however, the talks have seemingly been bogged down, with Egyptian sources telling Sky News Arabia that there have been “difficulties.”

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