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Former Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid. (Photo: Courtesy of the Spokesperson unit of the President of Israel, via Wikimedia Commons)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Israel’s opposition leader Yair Lapid has slammed the Israeli government, saying it sent a delegation to the Cairo negotiations to discuss a truce in the Gaza Strip as a “listener.”

“It is inconceivable that the Israeli government would come to negotiations in Egypt as only a listener, and refuse to present the position formulated by the professionals for political reasons,” Lapid wrote on his X account, on Tuesday.

“Above all, it is inconceivable that foreign parties would make a bigger effort than us to free our hostages from the Hamas tunnels,” Lapid also said.

The Resistance Movement Hamas was reportedly not informed of the four-way meeting in the Egyptian capital.

“No one has informed us about what is happening in Cairo, including the meetings and their atmosphere,” an unnamed top Hamas official told the Lebanese news network. 

According to reports, the meeting was attended by CIA Director William Burns, Egyptian Intelligence chief Abbas Kamel, Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, and Mossad spy chief David Barne.

No Breakthroughs

The Israeli public broadcaster KAN late on Tuesday said the meetings in Cairo joined by representatives from Egypt, Qatar, the US, and Israel ended amid no breakthroughs. 

Hamas wants a complete ending of the Israeli war on Gaza as a condition, which has been rejected by Israel.

“Hamas’s position has not changed, and it still insists on ending the war, which Israel has not accepted,” Israel’s public broadcaster KAN reportedly quoted an unnamed Israeli official as saying, without providing further details.

No official statements have so far been issued by the parties that participated in the Cairo meeting.

A Hamas delegation visited the Egyptian capital last week for talks on a possible hostage swap deal with Israel.

Hamas reportedly proposed a three-stage plan for a Gaza ceasefire that includes a 135-day pause in the fighting in return for the release of hostages.

The original framework agreement for a ceasefire was worked out during a meeting in Paris last month of top officials from the US, Israel, Qatar, and Egypt.

Killings Continue 

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health,  28,576 Palestinians have been killed, and 68,291 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 8,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip. 

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all of the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

(PC, Anadolu)

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