Egypt says Hamas, Israel must show ‘flexibility’ to secure Gaza truce deal

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Egypt has said Hamas and Israel must show “flexibility” if they are to strike a deal for a ceasefire and hostage-prisoner exchange in the seven-month war in the Gaza Strip, according to a foreign ministry statement released Friday.

The readout of a phone call between Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said both diplomats agreed on “the importance of urging the parties to show flexibility and make all the necessary efforts to achieve a ceasefire agreement and put an end to the humanitarian tragedy in Gaza”.

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Hamas said early Friday that its negotiators at ceasefire talks this week in Cairo had left the city for Doha, saying Israel had “rejected the proposal submitted by the mediators and raised objections to it”.
The group added it stood by the proposal, saying that “the ball is now completely in the hands of the occupation”.

State-linked Egyptian outlet Al-Qahera News reported Thursday that Israeli negotiators had also left Cairo.
Friday’s foreign ministry statement said the talks were in a “delicate phase”, with Cairo expressing fears that a full-scale Israeli incursion into the crowded Gazan city of Rafah, which sits on Egypt’s border, could threaten the “stability and security” of the region.

US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said that during the same conversation, Blinken assured Shoukry “that the United States does not support a major military operation in Rafah” and rejects “any forced displacement of Palestinians from Gaza”.

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