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No agreement reached at conclusion of most recent round of negotiations over Gaza – Officials

Egyptian officials said that after talking with Hamas for three days about stopping the fighting in Gaza and freeing Israeli hostages, they did not make any progress. This happened just a few days before the start of Ramadan, which was the deadline for reaching an agreement.

The US, Qatar, and Egypt have been working hard for weeks to make a deal with Hamas. The deal would have Hamas release up to 40 hostages. In exchange, there would be a monthlong break from fighting, some Palestinian prisoners would be released, and humanitarian aid would be given to help the people in the area.

Two government workers from Egypt said that the most recent talks have finished. They said Hamas gave a plan for mediators to talk about with Israel soon.

Hamas won’t let go of the about 100 people it’s holding captive and the bodies of around 30 more unless Israel stops attacking, leaves the area, and sets free many Palestinian prisoners, including high-ranking fighters who are serving life in prison.

Hamas spokesperson Jihad Taha said talks were still happening, but it’s up to Israel to make a decision. Israel has not agreed to Hamas’ requests for allowing people to return to northern Gaza, and for a promise of stopping the fighting and leaving completely.

“Hamas is willing to consider ideas and plans that align with their stance for stopping the fighting, pulling out troops, bringing back people who had to leave their homes, allowing aid trucks to get in, and rebuilding. ” Taha explained

The leader of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, said no to what Hamas wanted and promised to keep fighting until Hamas is gone and all the hostages are safe. Israel did not send a group of people to the most recent meeting.

An Israeli leader said that Israel is still waiting for Hamas to give a list of hostages who are still alive and the number of prisoners they want in exchange. It was not known if the latest proposal included that information.

The Israeli and Egyptian officials talked without giving their names because they were not allowed to tell the media about the discussions.

Benny Gantz, who is a member of Netanyahu’s War Cabinet and his main political opponent, had a meeting with senior U. SGovernment officials from Washington visited Israel and received criticism from the prime minister, showing that there is a growing disagreement within Israel’s leadership.

Mediators wanted to make a deal before Ramadan, a month when people fast from dawn to dusk. This time often leads to more tension between Israelis and Palestinians over access to a holy site in Jerusalem. The month is likely to start on March 10, but it depends on when the moon is seen.

The talks are delicate. I can’t say if people are feeling hopeful or worried, but we still haven’t been able to make a peace agreement, said Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry on Monday.

The war started when Hamas attacked southern Israel on Oct. In 7 days, Palestinian fighters killed about 1,200 people and took about 250 hostages. Over 100 of them were set free in a week-long break from fighting in November.

The attack led to Israel invading the area where 2. 3 million people live. The Gaza Health Ministry says more than 30,000 Palestinians have been killed. Help organizations are saying that the fighting has forced many people to leave their homes and has left a quarter of the population very close to starving.

The UN says that at least 10 children in northern Gaza have died because they didn’t have enough to eat and drink.

“Many children in Gaza’s hospitals are very sick and need help. In the north, some children can’t get any medical care at all,” said Adele Khodr, who works for UNICEF in the Middle East and North Africa.

She said these deaths were caused by people, could have been foreseen, and could have been stopped.

The Gaza Health Ministry reported that 15 kids have died from hunger at the Kamal Adwan Hospital in northern Gaza. Six more kids are also in danger of dying from not having enough food and water. It wasn’t clear if the kids had any existing health problems that made them more likely to get sick.

Israel attacked Northern Gaza first and caused a lot of destruction. The World Food Program stopped sending food to the north because the area is not safe. Last week, the Israeli military tried to bring in aid but it ended in a tragedy when more than 100 Palestinians were shot and killed by Israeli forces or trampled to death in a chaotic situation.

Approximately 300,000 Palestinians are thought to still be living in northern Gaza after Israel told everyone to leave the area, including Gaza City, in October. Many people have to eat animal food to stay alive. The UN says that one out of every six young children in the north are very hungry and not getting enough food.

The US and other countries have dropped supplies from airplanes recently, but aid groups say it’s not enough to help all the people who need it.

Israel is still attacking Gaza and has said it might also attack the city of Rafah. Many people from Gaza have gone to Rafah for safety. Gantz said the Rafah operation might start during Ramadan if there is no deal on the hostages.

Gaza’s Health Ministry reported that 97 people died in the past day. The total number of Palestinians who have died is now 30,631. The ministry counts everyone who has been hurt or killed, without separating civilians from people who are fighting. They say that about two-thirds of the total casualties are women and children.

Israel says it tries not to hurt innocent people and says that the high number of casualties is because Hamas fighters are in crowded neighborhoods. However, the military hardly keeps track of each time they attack, and this often results in the deaths of innocent women and children.

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