Tel Aviv, December 20: The Hamas leader Ismael Haniyeh on Wednesday reached Cairo, Egypt for negotiations with the Israelis for a possible ceasefire and hostage release. Haniyeh -- considered to be face of Hamas for International diplomacy will meet top officials of Egyptian government to carry forward the negotiations with Israel for a possible ceasefire and hostage release.

“Haniyeh will meet the Egyptian Intelligence Head Abbas Kamel -- who was part of last negotiations with Mossad Chief David Barnea and Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani regarding ceasefire and hostage release,” Hamas in a press statement said. It said that Haniyeh is accompanied by senior Hamas leaders and they will focus on supply of more aid material to Gaza. Malaysian Government Bans Shipping Linked to Israel, Condemning ‘Cruelty Against Palestinian People’

“Haniyeh will ask the Israel side to withdrawal the army from Gaza and to rehabilitate the displaced Palestinians within Gaza,” the statement said. During the temporary one week truce from November 24 to December 1 between Hamas and Israel, the Hamas released 105 hostages while at least 129 hostages are still in Hamas captivity. The Israelis believe that out of remaining 129 hostages, at least 20 hostages have died. There are thousands of Palestinians in Israeli jails who have been held without any trials and access to legal counsel. Israel-Hamas Ceasefire Deal: Israeli Offers Hamas Week-Long Ceasefire in Gaza for Release of 40 Hostages

Israel launched a ground offensive inside Gaza on October 27 after Hamas attacked Israel in a surprise attack on October 7 in which 1200 Israelis were killed and over 200 were taken hostage. Since the outbreak of hostilities between Hamas and Israel, over 19,667 Palestinians have been killed mostly being children and women.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Dec 20, 2023 04:36 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website