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Fri. May 17th, 2024

Efforts to reach a ceasefire in the ongoing Gaza conflict are set to resume on Saturday in Egypt. The new round of talks seeks to halt months of warfare between Hamas militants and Israeli forces that have drawn worldwide protests and humanitarian outcries.

Mediators from Qatar, Egypt, and the United States are expected to discuss a proposal that aims to stop the fighting for 40 days and exchange hostages for Palestinian prisoners. Details released by British sources suggest that the proposed deal could facilitate the release of more than 120 hostages held by Hamas in exchange for the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners by Israel.

Despite the optimism surrounding the talks, significant hurdles remain. Hamas has insisted on a comprehensive ceasefire, while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly declared his intention to crush the group entirely. The ongoing military activities, particularly around the Rafah border crossing in southern Gaza, have led to escalating global concern about the humanitarian impact and the potential for a broader conflict.

The truce talks come amid intense pressure from international leaders and humanitarian agencies to find a solution to the crisis. The United Nations reports that over 70 percent of Gaza’s residential buildings have been destroyed or severely damaged. This has prompted fears of a massive humanitarian catastrophe, especially if the violence continues to escalate.

As delegations gathered in Cairo, protests against the war in Gaza continued to spread across the globe. Demonstrations have been held at major universities in the United States, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere, with protesters calling for an end to the violence and urging their governments to take stronger actions to protect civilians and support humanitarian efforts in Gaza.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has urged Hamas to accept a ceasefire deal, emphasizing that the only barrier to peace is the group’s refusal to agree to a truce. Blinken’s statement reflects growing international impatience with the continued conflict and a sense of urgency to prevent further civilian casualties in Gaza, where the death toll has exceeded 34,000 people, mostly women and children, according to reports from the Hamas-run health ministry.

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