Qatar’s emir meets Egypt’s al-Sisi in Cairo for talks on ending Gaza violence

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The leaders of Qatar and Egypt, both hoping to mediate a de-escalation of violence in the Gaza Strip, the provision of humanitarian aid and the release of Israeli hostages, met in Cairo on Friday.

The meeting between Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani will cover ways to calm the situation in Gaza and provide humanitarian relief for the enclave’s 2.3 million besieged residents, a statement from Sisi’s office said.

The Qatari emir’s visit comes a day after Qatar’s prime minister met the chiefs of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Israeli spy agency Mossad in Doha to discuss the parameters of a deal for a hostage release and a pause in fighting between Israel and Hamas.

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Qatar, where several Hamas political leaders are based, has been leading mediation between the Palestinian militant group and Israeli officials for the release of more than 240 hostages taken by Hamas militants on October 7, in an attack in which Israel says 1,400 people were killed.

Since then Israel has launched an unrelenting bombardment and an armored invasion of Hamas-ruled Gaza, where over 10,000 people have been killed, according to Palestinian officials.

Egypt also has contacts with Hamas and Israel and has been involved in negotiations, including for the provision of aid through its Rafah border crossing with Gaza and the evacuation from the territory of foreign passport holders and some Palestinians requiring urgent medical treatment.

Evacuations through Rafah restarted on Thursday following a pause after the Red Cross said one of its convoy escorting evacuees was targeted inside Gaza.

The United Nations said 65 aid trucks entered Gaza from Egypt on Thursday, well below the number needed to address a deepening humanitarian crisis.

The United States said on Thursday that Israel had agreed to daily four-hour pauses in the north of Gaza and the operation of corridors for civilians to move south, though there was no sign of a let-up in the fighting.

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