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Hamas begin ‘serious’ talks for ‘Gaza truce’ that would see up to 33 Israeli hostages returned

HAMAS began talks last night on a possible Gaza truce that would see up to 33 Israeli hostages returned.

A delegation for the terror group said they had travelled in a “positive spirit” to Egyptian capital Cairo.

Terror group Hamas began talks last night on a potential Gaza truce

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Terror group Hamas began talks last night on a potential Gaza truceCredit: AFP

Senior official Taher Al- Nono said Hamas was addressing the proposals of Egyptian and Qatari mediators “with full seriousness”.

But he said a deal must involve Israel exiting Gaza and a halt to the conflict.

An Israeli official said they would “under no circumstances” agree to end the war for a hostages deal.

A return of 33, in exchange for the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, would leave about 100 in Gaza.

The war began after Hamas stunned Israel with a cross-border raid on Oct 7 in which 1,200 people were killed and 252 hostages taken, according to Israeli tallies.

More than 34,600 Palestinians have been killed – 32 of them in the most recent 24-hour period – and more than 77,000 have been wounded in Israel’s assault, according to Gaza’s health ministry.

The bombardment has devastated much of the enclave.

Before the talks began there had been some optimism.

“Things look better this time but whether an agreement is on hand would depend on whether Israel has offered what it takes for that to happen,” a Palestinian official with knowledge of the mediation efforts, who asked not to be named, told Reuters.

Washington – which, like other Western powers and Israel, brands Hamas a terrorist group – has urged it to enter a deal.

Wiping out Hamas in Rafah will take Israel 3 months and Hezbollah and Iran must be next says expert

Progress has stumbled, however, over Hamas’ long-standing demand for a commitment to end the offensive.

Israel insists that after any truce it would resume operations designed to disarm and dismantle the faction.

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