As the bombing of the Gaza Strip continues, diplomats have intensified their efforts in recent hours to reach a solution, albeit temporary, for a ceasefire in Gaza and the delivery of Israeli hostages. Egypt has invited delegations from the Jewish state and Hamas to Cairo to reach an agreement after months of impasse with Qatari mediators in Doha, and even from Riyadh, where the World Economic Forum is taking place, rumors are flying on a possible agreement between the parties involved in the conflict, after more than 200 days of fighting. Sameh Shoukry, Egyptian Foreign Minister, said he was “confident” about the new truce proposal that Hamas leaders are currently evaluating: “The proposal took into account the positions of both parties,” he said. assured the Egyptian minister. It was his British counterpart David Cameron who detailed the agreement, highlighting the obstacles to its signature. “It is a very generous proposal”, explained from Riyadh the former prime minister, now a minister in the Sunak government, “40 days of ceasefire and the possible release of thousands of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the release of all Israeli hostages. “. Without the release of all the hostages, Cameron said, “the war will not end.” But US Secretary of State Antony Blinken warns: “They have to decide, and quickly. The only thing standing in the way of the people of Gaza and a ceasefire is Hamas. »

The future of the Palestinians

In Saudi Arabia, where Blinken is also located, the future of the Palestinian territories is also being discussed once military operations in the Gaza Strip have ended. Cameron has been clear: for a two-state solution to become feasible, and one championed by the most influential regional actors, Hamas leaders and all those who participated in the October 7 attack in Israel must leave Gaza. A condition which seems complex to respect but which Israel and its allies do not intend to give in to. Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan, after the meeting with Blinken, said the two countries were “very, very close” to reaching an agreement on the future of the Gaza Strip. “Most of the work has already been done,” the minister said according to Sky News, “we have the outline of what we think should happen on the Palestinian front.”

The Riyadh summit

The plan proposed by the Israeli government, obtained thanks to the mediation of Egypt and Qatar, provides for a 40-day pause in the fighting in exchange for the release of at least 33 hostages including women, minors, people elderly and sick. “The proposal is still under study,” Izzat al-Risheq, a Hamas official, said today. This afternoon, Monday April 29, Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani will also be in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, for a series of meetings and conferences on the war in Gaza and in general on the crisis in the Middle East. Also present was US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who will then continue his new trip to the region to avoid the possibility of a new military escalation in the confrontation between Israel and Hamas. “Hamas faces an extraordinarily generous offer from Israel. And right now – Blinken said from Riyadh – the only thing standing in the way of the people of Gaza and a ceasefire is Hamas. They have to decide and they have to decide quickly. I hope they make the right decision, we can have a fundamental change in the dynamic.”

Negotiations in Egypt

While foreign ministers meet in Saudi Arabia to discuss the situation in Gaza, negotiations continue in Egypt to obtain a temporary ceasefire and the return of hostages held by Hamas. Today, the Egyptian government invited an Israeli delegation to Cairo for a meeting in which the Palestinian militia is also expected to participate. The invitation, written on Israel Times, “aims to speed up the process and provide the necessary clarifications on the observations that will be presented by the Hamas delegation which will visit Cairo”. The Israeli delegation, an anonymous source explains to the newspaper, “will be authorized to provide responses to requests raised by Hamas, but will not be authorized to make decisions or present official positions.”

Israeli raids on Rafah

There are at least 27 deaths, according to Al Jazeera, the results of Israeli nighttime bombings on Rafah and Gaza City. According to some Palestinian health officials, the victims included six women and five children, including a five-day-old newborn. Many more people were later injured in airstrikes that hit three homes in Rafah, the southernmost town of the Palestinian enclave. “Only the Americans can stop them,” warned Abu Mazen, president of the Palestinian National Authority, in recent hours about the Israeli attacks on Rafah. While Benjamin Netanyahu ignores international pressure from those asking him to suspend the military campaign on Gaza, a summit is underway in Saudi Arabia to try to reach an agreement between Israel and Hamas.

Hamas: “Our leadership remains in Doha”

Abou Marzouk, a senior Hamas official, denies rumors that the political leadership of the Palestinian terrorist group could leave Qatar to settle in Iraq, Syria or Turkey. “Any potential transfer, which is not taking place at the moment, would take place in Jordan,” Marzouk told Iranian al-Alam television. “Jordan – he added – is a nation that supports the Palestinian resistance and Hamas maintains positive relations with the Jordanian government.”

On the cover: A camp for displaced people in Rafah, Gaza Strip (EPA/Haitham Imad)

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