Hamas delegation to visit Egypt for Gaza truce talks


Hamas says it has received Israel’s latest position and will study it before submitting a reply.
Hamas says it has received Israel’s latest position and will study it before submitting a reply.

A delegation from Hamas is set to visit Egypt soon for further ceasefire talks in the Gaza war, the Palestinian Islamist group says, as US President Joe Biden broke his silence over protests linked to the conflict at college campuses in the United States.

It added in a statement that Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh had affirmed the group’s “positive spirit in studying the ceasefire proposal” in a phone call with Egypt’s intelligence chief Abbas Kamel.

Hamas said on Saturday that it had received Israel’s latest position and would study it before submitting a reply.

The Egyptian state-affiliated al-Qahera News quoted an unidentified high-level Egyptian source as saying that the Hamas delegation would arrive in Cairo in the next two days.

Speaking to Reuters, a Palestinian official close to the mediation also said the Hamas delegation’s visit could take place in the next two days.

Hamas’ statement added that the negotiations to be held in Cairo aim to “mature a deal that achieves the demands of our people and ends the aggression”.

Another statement by Hamas on Thursday said that Haniyeh and Qatar Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani agreed to continue the ongoing discussions to “mature a deal” through Qatari and Egyptian mediation.

Egypt recently renewed its bid to push stalled negotiations between Israel and Hamas to agree a ceasefire in Gaza.

Meanwhile in the United States, Biden said on Thursday that freedom of speech and the rule of law must be respected in protests at college campuses over the war in Gaza.

“We are not an authoritarian nation where we silence people and squash dissent,” Biden said in remarks at the White House.

Police officers confront demonstrators
US police have moved to clear pro-Palestinian protest encampments at some universities. (EPA PHOTO)

“But neither are we a lawless country. We’re a civil society. And order must prevail.”

In response to a reporter’s question, Biden said that the campus protests had not forced him to reconsider his policies in the Middle East.

With television images of campus unrest that have swept the United States in recent days playing out on news networks, Biden has faced criticism of his handling of the situation. 

He had been leaving it largely up to his representatives to comment.

Joe Biden
US President Joe Biden says “order must prevail” following protests on university campuses. (AP PHOTO)

The Democratic president, seeking re-election in November, has walked a careful line of denouncing anti-Semitism while supporting young people’s right to protest and trying to limit longer-term political damage.

Student protesters in the US are calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and demanding schools divest from companies that support Israel’s government.

While some Jewish students are taking part in the protests, others feel threatened and are staying away from the campuses.

The protests are pitting free speech against student safety and have led to major police operations to clear pro-Palestinian protest encampments.

with DPA