Truce talks resume in Gaza as thousands protest Netanyahu in Israel News of the Israeli war on Gaza

The negotiations in Cairo on Sunday come after the UN Security Council called for a ceasefire this week after nearly six months of war.

Egyptian media reported that truce talks between Israel and Hamas are expected to resume in Cairo on Sunday, days after the UN Security Council issued its first request for a ceasefire in the war on Gaza.

The resumption of indirect negotiations, which was reported by the Egyptian Cairo News Channel on Saturday, comes as more protests erupt against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Israeli capital.

Al Jazeera's Hamda Salhout said that many Israelis feel that Netanyahu is the main obstacle to signing an agreement with Hamas and returning prisoners detained in Gaza to their homeland.

He added: “These people have been demanding an agreement to return the prisoners for more than 175 days. “They say that the Israeli government's policies have simply failed,” Salhout said, while covering a protest in Tel Aviv where thousands gathered, including families of prisoners.

Demonstrations also took place near Netanyahu's residence and in other cities across Israel.

Qatar, Egypt and the United States are trying to reach a prisoner exchange agreement and a ceasefire in Gaza, as the first truce lasted for only one week in late November last year.

An Israeli official told Reuters news agency that Israel will send a delegation to the Cairo talks on Sunday. But a Hamas official told Reuters that the movement would first wait to hear from Cairo's mediators about the outcome of their talks with Israel.

Al Jazeera's Salhout said that a statement issued by Netanyahu's office stated that he allowed the Israeli negotiating team to meet with the mediators in both Cairo and Doha, and gave them a mandate to negotiate.

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Mediators such as the United States say they remain optimistic that an agreement can be reached. But there are still major sticking points on both sides, and huge non-negotiables.”

Hamas sought to exploit any agreement to end the war and complete the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza. But Israel has ruled this out, saying that even if there is a long pause in fighting, the war will not end until Hamas is defeated.

“Although there are sticking points, mediators say the continuation of these talks is a positive sign,” Salhout said.

Elsewhere on Saturday, the foreign ministers of France, Egypt and Jordan called for an “immediate and permanent ceasefire” in Gaza and the release of all prisoners held by Palestinian armed groups.

Stephane Segorn, the chief French diplomat, said in a joint press conference in Cairo that his government would present a draft resolution in the UN Security Council specifying a “political” settlement to the war.

He said the text would include “all the criteria for a two-state solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a peace plan that has long been championed by the international community but opposed by Netanyahu’s government.

The three ministers renewed their governments' support for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), which has been facing a funding crisis since Israel claimed that a few of its 13,000 employees in Gaza were involved in the October 7 attack.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said: “Israel is not only starving the Palestinians, but it wants to kill the only entity capable of standing in the way of famine.”

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Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said that Gaza “cannot bear more destruction and human suffering,” and called on Israel to open its land crossings with the Strip to allow humanitarian aid.

More than 32,000 Palestinians have been killed in the war launched by Israel in Gaza since October 7. This followed a Hamas attack on southern Israel, in which 1,139 people were killed and more than 200 captured – some of whom remain in Gaza.

This week, after nearly six months of war, the UN Security Council finally reached consensus and passed a resolution calling for an immediate ceasefire.

However, the fighting continues, with Israel still launching air and ground attacks across the Strip, and threatening a full invasion of the country's southernmost city of Rafah, where more than a million displaced Palestinians are taking refuge.

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