Egypt trying with Qatar, US to reactivate Gaza truce talks

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An Egyptian security delegation is trying in coordination with Qatar and the US to reactivate talks to reach a truce in Gaza and release hostages, Egypt’s state-affiliated Al-Qahera News TV channel said on Tuesday, citing a senior official.

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The official said Egypt took a firm stance against dealing with the issue of reopening the Rafah crossing with Gaza except with Palestinian and international parties, and not with Israel, whose forces seized the crossing in early May.

The official was quoted by Al-Qahera News as saying Egypt had told all concerned parties that efforts to revive the talks had been undermined by Israel’s three-week-old assault on Rafah in southern Gaza, which had brought “dire consequences.”

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International unease over Israel’s Rafah offensive has turned to outrage after an attack on Sunday set off a blaze in a tent camp in a western district of the city, killing at least 45 people. Israel said it had targeted Hamas militant commanders and had not intended to cause civilian casualties.

Last week, Egypt threatened to withdraw as a mediator in Gaza ceasefire negotiations after CNN reported that Egyptian intelligence had changed the terms of a recent truce proposal and scuttled a deal.

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