US Says Israel Has Agreed To Framework For Gaza Truce, Ball Is In Hamas’s Court

US says Israel Has Agreed To Framework For Gaza Truce, Ball Is In Hamas’s Court

March 3, 2024, 8:32 a.m.

But Washington official cautions against raising expectations; Hamas delegation due in Cairo for talks; Israel indicates it won’t send team until it gets list of live hostages

Israel has essentially endorsed a framework of a proposed Gaza truce and hostage release deal, and it is now up to Hamas to agree to it, a senior US administration official said Saturday, a day before talks to reach an agreement were to resume in Egypt.

International mediators have been working for weeks to broker a deal to pause the fighting before the Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins March 10. A deal would allow more aid to reach hundreds of thousands of desperate Palestinians in northern Gaza who aid officials worry are under threat of famine.

The Israelis “have more or less accepted” the proposal, which includes a six-week ceasefire as well as the release by Hamas of hostages considered vulnerable, which includes the sick, the wounded, the elderly, and women, said the official.

War erupted on October 7 when Hamas led a devastating attack on southern Israel that killed 1,200 people, mostly civilians, amid atrocities including rape and torture of victims. The thousands of attackers who breached the border from the Gaza Strip also abducted 253 people to Gaza.

Israel responded with a military campaign to topple the Hamas regime and free the hostages.

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

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