Gaza Truce Talks 'Back To Square One'

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by Tyler Durden
Saturday, May 11, 2024 - 08:30 PM

For several months running there have been a seeming myriad of sometimes contradictory headlines saying a Hamas-Israel truce is "close," or "nearing the finish line" or else "stalled" or also "progressing"... Friday saw truce talks come full circle with the following Hamas statement cited in Reuters:

The Palestinian militant group Hamas said on Friday efforts to agree to a ceasefire for the Gaza Strip were back at square one after Israel effectively rejected a proposal by international mediators.


The representatives of both sides for the 'indirect' talks in Cairo (and which are also mediated by Qatar) have gone home with nothing substantive having been advanced.

Israeli media also confirms the talks "appeared to break up with no discernable progress, as the terror group said it had no intention of budging from a proposal already rejected by Israel."

"A senior Israeli official said the Israeli team had also left after handing mediators a list of its reservations about the Hamas proposal," the report continues.

Earlier in the week Hamas issued a statement saying, "The ball is now completely in the hands of the occupation." So indeed neither side is backing away from their demands, and the stalemate has ensued.

A key point of contention has been Hamas' demand that Israel's military withdraw from the Gaza Strip in full and on a permanent basis in order to receive hostages back, while Israel has interpreted this to mean a mere temporary pause in fighting and removal of some forces.

Currently, Israel appears to be moving forward with the Rafah operation, and has the eastern part of the city surrounded. A main road dividing the eastern and western halves of the city has been captured by IDF tanks.

The UN has warned that humanitarian aid workers cannot access the surrounded part of the city. Rafah currently is home to some 1.3 million displaced persons, and aid workers fear that a massacre will result if there's a full ground operation.

But the Netanyahu government has never backed off from its insistence that Hamas can only be finished off if the IDF goes into Gaza to take out the final brigades and commanders. 

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of Palestinians have been seen pouring out of Rafah, but it's unclear where they will ultimately go. Egyptian security forces have had a heavy presence on the other side of the border, fearing that the Rafah crossing could be overrun.