Tel Aviv: A delegation of senior leaders of Hamas, led by its political head Ismael Haniyeh, has reached the Egyptian capital of Cairo for peace talks to end the ongoing war with Israel in Gaza strip.
The delegation, also comprising senior leaders Moosa Abu Marzook and Khalil al Hayya, reached Cairo on Thursday and held meetings with the Egyptian officials led by its intelligence chief, Major General Abbas Kamel.
The discussions, according to sources in Egypt, are centered around the peace talks that have been underway at Paris during last week in which Qatar, Egypt, the US and Israeli officials had participated.
According to the Paris discussions, a broader framework for release of hostages in the custody of Hamas has been agreed under which 35 hostages would be released in the first step that include old, sick and women prisoners. While the Hamas wanted a permanent stoppage of the war, Israel had rejected the proposal outrightly.
The Israel side, according to sources in Israel Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), has agreed for a six week truce in the first step wherein 35 hostages would be released.
While Hamas wanted a large number of Palestinians in Israel prisons to be exchanged for the Israeli hostages, Israel has not agreed.
Israel, according to officials, has said that it would release three times the number of Israeli hostages who will be released.
In a one week peace truce between Israel and Hamas from November 24 to December 1, 105 hostages held by Hamas were released. A total of 324 Palestinian prisoners, including women and children ,were released from Israeli prisons as exchange for the Israeli hostages. (IANS)