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Israel Informs Egypt It’s Granting Hostage Deal ‘Final Opportunity’ Before Commencing Rafah Operation

Israel tells Egypt it's giving hostage deal 'last chance' (Credits: Axios)

Talks between Israeli officials and an Egyptian delegation aimed at reaching a hostage deal with Hamas and averting an Israeli offensive in Rafah have ended with a warning from Israel that this was the “last chance” for a truce agreement.

According to a senior Israeli official, the talks were productive and focused, with Egypt willing to pressure Hamas to reach a deal. However, Israel has made it clear that it will not agree to foot-dragging by Hamas and has called up reserve forces.

Isreal planning Rafah invasion (Credits: Al Arabiya)

The Israeli official stated that this is the “last chance” before Israel launches its assault on Rafah, where Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar is believed to be hiding with hostages as human shields.

Israel is willing to settle for the release of fewer than 40 hostages, but insists that all 33 living hostages meeting the “humanitarian” designation (women, children, men over 50, and the sick) be freed.

This could be a major sticking point in negotiations. Israel has also offered concessions, including allowing residents to return to northern Gaza and withdrawing forces from a key corridor bisecting Gaza.

Netanyahu says Israel plans to move Rafah civilians before fight (Credits: Asharq Al-Awsat)

However, the government is delaying coordinating the offensive with the US administration, and defense sources fear that time is running out for the hostages. The Egyptian delegation, led by top intelligence official Abbas Kamel, aimed to discuss a “new vision” for a prolonged ceasefire in Gaza.

International pressure is growing for a hostage-truce deal leading to a permanent ceasefire, but talks have been stalled for months, with both sides accusing each other of sabotaging potential deals. Israel has repeatedly ruled out ending the war until Hamas is defeated and the hostages are released and will retain a security presence in Gaza afterward.

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