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Ceasefire Negotiations Stuck in Gaza: Critical Week Ahead for Resolution – Xinhua News Agency

Xinhua News Agency, Gaza/Jerusalem, March 4Solution|Where are the ceasefire negotiations in Gaza stuck?The week ahead is critical

Xinhua News Agency reporter Liu Weijian Lu Yingxu Wang Hongbin

A new round of ceasefire negotiations in the Gaza Strip was held in the Egyptian capital Cairo on March 3. The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), the United States, Qatar and Egypt sent representatives to participate, but Israel did not send anyone. It is unclear whether a ceasefire can be achieved before Ramadan, which begins in about a week.

The current round of Palestinian-Israeli conflict has lasted for nearly five months. Hamas and Israel only had a brief ceasefire for a week in November last year. With the death toll in the Gaza Strip exceeding 30,000, the international community’s calls for an end to the war have further intensified. How much progress can be achieved in non-face-to-face negotiations between Hamas and Israel? Where are the current ceasefire negotiations stuck? Can there be a ceasefire before Ramadan? Xinhua News Agency reporters will help you solve the situation——

Israel absent from negotiations

According to Egypt’s Cairo News Network, delegations from the United States, Qatar and Hamas arrived in Egypt on the 3rd to conduct a new round of negotiations on a ceasefire in Gaza before Ramadan. Israel did not attend.

According to multiple Israeli media reports, Israel decided not to send a delegation temporarily after receiving a response from Hamas on the draft ceasefire agreement on the 3rd. Israel demands that Hamas hand over a complete list of detainees who are still alive, otherwise it will refuse to send personnel. Hamas is currently believed to be detaining about 130 people, more than 30 of whom may have died due to Israeli air strikes and other reasons. In addition to the list issue, whether to allow Gaza residents to return to the north is also an important point of disagreement between the two sides.

On key issues, the latest public statements from Israel and Hamas show no sign of concession. Israel insists that it will not end military operations until Hamas is completely eliminated, while Hamas says it will not release Israeli detainees until a long-term ceasefire agreement is reached. What is the definition of a ceasefire and how long will it last? How to release someone? The two sides are stuck on these issues.

There are also divisions within Israel at the moment. According to the Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation, requiring Hamas to submit a list of surviving Israeli detainees was a personal decision by Prime Minister Netanyahu and was not approved by the war cabinet.

Gantz, leader of Israel’s main opposition party, the National Unity Party and a member of the war cabinet, visited the United States on the 3rd without Netanyahu’s approval. During this period, Gantz will meet with US Vice President Harris, Presidential National Security Assistant Sullivan and Secretary of State Blinken respectively. US media reported that Netanyahu told Gantz that Israel “only has one prime minister.” Gantz’s visit to the United States highlighted Israel’s internal contradictions and increased the pressure on Netanyahu.

America contradicts itself

The Gaza policy adopted by the United States has shown its limitations, and it has not used more effective methods to pressure Israel. For example, in terms of humanitarian relief, the United States tried to persuade Israel to allow more aid to enter Gaza, but with little success. The United States airdropped supplies to Gaza for the first time on the 2nd.

This approach has been criticized by many media. The US “Politics” quoted critics as saying that the airdrop of supplies was not necessary. The United States has many ways to influence Israel, not the least of which is to reconsider military aid to Israel.

The report quoted Charles List, a senior fellow at the U.S. Middle East Institute, as saying: “It is even more puzzling that we decide to airdrop while continuing to deliver weapons to the party that forces us to do so.”

The British “Guardian” also quoted Brian Finucane, a former lawyer at the U.S. State Department and currently working at the International Crisis Research Organization, as saying: “If the U.S. government is unwilling to use any meaningful influence to end the Gaza conflict, then There is no alternative but to resort to such desperate and inadequate attempts to resolve the resulting humanitarian catastrophe on the periphery.”

Previously, the United States had vetoed a draft resolution on a humanitarian ceasefire in the United Nations Security Council with one vote in a row, triggering a lot of criticism. In addition, the continued fighting has had an impact on US President Biden’s campaign, so he urgently needs a ceasefire agreement to eliminate voters’ dissatisfaction.

The next week is critical

At present, there are still many differences between Hamas and Israel over reaching an agreement, but all parties hope to reach an agreement before the onset of Ramadan. Jonathan Freeman, an international relations expert at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, told Xinhua News Agency that a ceasefire before Ramadan is possible, but it depends on whether the Israeli ceasefire can be exchanged for “the release of a large number of hostages” and whether the two sides can agree on the ceasefire. Agree on the definition.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Shoukry said on March 1 that Egypt was working with Qatar, the United States and other parties to promote a “ceasefire and exchange of hostages” before the start of Ramadan.

The current negotiations in Egypt can take place without Israel. Hamas sources said in an interview with Qatar’s Al Jazeera TV station that Hamas does not care whether Israel sends a delegation to Cairo for negotiations, and mainly negotiates with Egypt and Qatar. Hamas and Israel refused to negotiate face-to-face, leaving Egypt and Qatar to “pass the news.”

The United States criticized the Israeli government on the 3rd for not doing enough to alleviate the humanitarian disaster in the Gaza Strip and called for an “immediate ceasefire.” The US Axios news website reported that Biden began to seek to put pressure on Hamas through Egypt and Qatar in an attempt to soften its stance.

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2024-03-04 15:18:11

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