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Negotiators Scramble To Rescue Gaza Hostage Talks As Refugee Area Struck In New Israeli Air Raid

• https://www.zerohedge.com, by Tyler Durden

The death toll from that Thursday incident has reportedly risen to 118. President Biden has said he hopes a deal can be reached by the start of the Muslim season of Ramadan, which begins March 10.

"We're not there yet," he told reporters Friday. The Wall Street Journal has reported on the emerging disappointment and fear that talks have been utterly stalled. "Talks between Israel, Hamas and their mediators were expected to kick into high gear as the two sides try to reach a cease-fire for the Islamic holy month of Ramadan...," the Saturday report describes. Meanwhile Al Jazeera reports of a new mass casualty attack near Rafah:

At least 11 Palestinians were killed and 50 wounded when an Israeli air raid directly hit tents housing displaced people in Tal as-Sultan, Rafah, an area previously designated as "safe".

However, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned Qatari and Egyptian officials that the Israeli side will not participate in another round of talks until Hamas confirms a full list of living hostages still being held in Gaza.

Axios reported on Friday, "Israel made it clear to Egypt and Qatar that it will not hold another round of talks until Hamas presents a list of the hostages who are alive."

Israeli officials said: "There is no point in starting another round of talks until we receive the lists of which of the hostages are alive and until Hamas gives its answer regarding the 'ratio' that defines how many prisoners will be released for each hostage."

This has been a key part of the hold up all along: disagreements over numbers and the iterative phases of planned exchanges. Additionally Hamas has been requiring that all Israeli troops withdraw from the Gaza Strip first, something which Netanyahu has called "delusional".


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