Hamas says delegation heading to Cairo for truce talks

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, center, and ministers of his government, right, meet with a Hamas delegation led by Ismail Haniyeh, in Istanbul, Turkey, April 20, in this photo released by the Turkish presidency. AP-Yonhap

Hamas said a delegation will travel to Cairo, Saturday, to resume Gaza ceasefire talks with a “positive spirit” in the latest effort to halt almost seven months of war with Israel.Foreign mediators have been waiting for a Hamas response to a proposal to halt the fighting for 40 days and exchange hostages for Palestinian prisoners.”We emphasise the positive spirit with which the Hamas leadership dealt with the ceasefire proposal it recently received, and we are going to Cairo in the same spirit to reach an agreement,” the Palestinian militant group posted on its website Friday.”We in Hamas and the Palestinian resistance forces are determined to achieve an agreement that fulfils our people’s demands for a complete cessation of the aggression, the withdrawal of the occupation forces, the return of the displaced, relief and reconstruction, and a serious exchange deal,” the statement said.

A major stumbling block has been that, while Hamas has demanded a lasting ceasefire, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to crush its remaining fighters in the far-southern city of Rafah, which is packed with displaced civilians.The hawkish prime minister has insisted he will send ground troops into Rafah, despite strong concerns voiced by U.N. agencies and ally Washington for the safety of the 1.2 million civilians inside the city.A top Hamas official accused Netanyahu of trying to derail a proposed Gaza truce and hostage release deal, Friday, with his threats to keep fighting the militants.”Netanyahu was the obstructionist of all previous rounds of dialogue… and it is clear that he still is,” a senior Hamas official, Hossam 온라인카지노 Badran, told AFP.

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