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Gaza: Israeli officials expected in Cairo for new ceasefire talks

Hamas warned Monday in a statement that no agreement would be signed with Israel if it did not ensure a permanent ceasefire   -  
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Israel was set to send a delegation to Cairo, capital of Egypt for talks with Hamas on a new ceasefire proposal in the Gaza Strip while a Hamas delegation has left the Egyptian capital after extensive discussions with Egyptian brokers, sources said Monday.

The Israel delegation, composed of security officials, will depart on Tuesday to discuss the deal with Egyptian brokers, according to Israel media reports.

The Hamas delegation left Cairo late on Monday and will "return with a written response to the truce proposal", according to Egyptian security sources.

Hamas said Monday in a statement that ensuring a permanent ceasefire is a fundamental cornerstone for moving towards the details of negotiations and the success of the agreement with Israel.

Abdul Latif al-Qanou, a spokesman for Hamas, stressed the necessity of fulfilling the demands of the Palestinian people, including "a permanent ceasefire, withdrawal of forces from the Gaza Strip, and the return of refugees."

Under the mediation of Egypt, Israel proposed the latest ceasefire agreement, warning that now is the "last chance" for a truce deal before the Israeli army launches a ground operation in the southern Gaza city of Rafah where more than 1.5 million Palestinians are taking refuge.

Israel has continued its massive airstrikes and shellings throughout the Gaza Strip to retaliate against a Hamas rampage through the southern Israeli border on Oct 7, 2023.

Over 34,400 Palestinians had been killed in the going conflict between Israel and Hamas, according to an update from the enclave's Health Ministry on Monday.

Rafah has been struck from the air multiple times and has also sustained some ground attacks, though not as extensive as those conducted by Israel in other areas of the coastal enclave.

From Sunday night to Monday morning, Israel's airstrikes on Rafah killed 26 people, injured many others, and left a lot of people still buried under the rubble, according to Palestinian media.

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