Egypt is awaiting a response from the Palestinian factions and Israel, “Thursday at the latest,” according to sources who spoke to the Al-Hurra website, regarding its proposal to end the ongoing war in the Gaza Strip, which has led to the deaths of more than 20,000 people and the displacement of about two million others, according to the authorities in Gaza.
According to the former Egyptian intelligence officer, Major General Mohamed Abdel Wahed, who is close to decision-making circles in Egypt, the Egyptian proposal includes three stages, including concessions from the Palestinian and Israeli parties with the aim of a ceasefire.
Reuters quoted two security sources as saying that Cairo is proposing a ceasefire in several stages, with the initial stage being temporary for a week or two, and that the temporary ceasefire could be renewed.
The Egyptian proposal stipulates that Hamas and Islamic Jihad would give up power in the Gaza Strip in exchange for a permanent ceasefire.
According to Palestinian officials, they said that the ceasefire will be in three stages. During the first ten days of a humanitarian truce, Hamas will release all the women, children and elderly people detained by it.
In return, Israel releases an agreed-upon number of Palestinian prisoners of the same categories, stops all combat operations, withdraws tanks from the Gaza Strip, and allows the delivery of food and medical aid, fuel and cooking gas.
It also allows the return of residents to the northern Gaza Strip.
Al-Ahram’s editor-in-chief, Ashraf Al-Ashry, told Al-Hurra website that Egypt has modified its proposal to include expanding the truce in the first phase to last from 3 to four weeks.
He added: “During this stage, the Israeli hostages, including children, women and the elderly, will be released in exchange for Israel’s release of 140 Palestinian prisoners from the same categories, and there will be an opportunity to begin an internal Palestinian dialogue to form a technocratic government.”
According to Reuters, Hamas and Islamic Jihad officials initially rejected the Egyptian proposal.
But Al-Ashry said that the two movements did not respond officially, and they are currently conducting extensive discussions about it, and Egypt is awaiting their position within hours. As for the Israeli response, Egypt is expected to receive it tomorrow, Thursday.
In his interview with the Al-Hurra website, Abdel Wahed confirmed that Egypt is still awaiting the official response from the Hamas and Islamic Jihad movements, as well as Israel..
Al-Ashry said that the second stage of the Egyptian proposal includes exchanging bodies, and Hamas releasing Israeli female soldiers in exchange for the release of Palestinians from prisons.
He added that the third phase is scheduled to include the release of the remaining Israeli hostages, both men and soldiers, in exchange for the release of a number of Palestinian prisoners, setting a timetable for Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, and forming a Palestinian technocratic government to manage both Gaza and the West Bank, with the Hamas and Jihad movements to disappear. Of the scene, especially the armed side.
Hamas and Islamic Jihad insist that a hostage exchange deal must lead to the release of all Palestinians in Israeli prisons. “All for all,” a senior Islamic Jihad official said.
Israel is open to another truce, but it rejected the demands of Palestinian militants to end the war and withdraw forces from Gaza, according to Reuters.
According to the American Wall Street Journal, Israel decided to “expand the framework of its discussion of the proposed Egyptian plan” regarding ending the war in the Gaza Strip, as a broader group of ministers began discussing the proposal instead of just the war council.
On Wednesday, the Wall Street Journal quoted Israeli officials as saying, “The Israeli government is unlikely to accept a proposal that would allow any role for Hamas in the Gaza Strip after the end of the war.”
But Abdel Wahed stressed, “In order to establish mediation, all parties must keep in mind that there will be concessions. Israel will not achieve its declared goals of war, and Hamas will not have a presence in power.”
He stressed that “the Egyptian proposal is very flexible and is not a holy book, and therefore it is subject to modification. Therefore, it left the first stage open, considering that the longer the truce lasts, the better chance there is to calm the atmosphere and build confidence.”
He stressed that “what is most important for Egypt is to end the war as soon as possible because prolonging the conflict has disastrous effects on Gaza, the Palestinian issue, and the region as a whole.”
He said: “Egypt took into account in this proposal the internal dimension in Israel or Palestine, and the external interventions that lead to prolonging the conflict,” adding, “Everything that exists is nothing but ideas that we put forward, trying to reconcile all of these proposals.”
According to what was reported by the Palestinian News Agency (Wafa), the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization rejected the Egyptian initiative.
The agency stated, “The committee discussed what was published in the media about an initiative paper that talks about three stages, including talk about forming a Palestinian government to administer the West Bank and Gaza away from the responsibility of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the sole legitimate representative, and therefore the Executive Committee decided to reject it, and to form a committee of Its members will follow up on the resulting risks that affect the highest interests of the Palestinian people and their inalienable national rights, and adhere to the comprehensive political vision that emphasizes the firm Palestinian position.”
But Abdel Wahed said: “Perhaps the Palestinian Authority feared the clause of forming a new elected government and that it threatened the existence of the PLO. In fact, the initiative did not contain anything remotely or remotely related to this issue, especially since the PLO has a great symbolism and historical dimension, but we We are talking about new elections, an agreement between the resistance and the Palestinian Authority, and an internationally and regionally acceptable government.”
He added: “Hamas is not accepted by the international community, nor is the authority, as all of its members are elderly and need to renew their blood. It is also unable to bring about any change and even stands by as a spectator of what is happening in the West Bank.”
He continued: “We are talking about an elected technocratic government in a transitional phase in which the West Bank and Gaza will be unified, which is very important for the Palestinian cause.”
A prominent member of the Knesset and former Israeli envoy to the United Nations, Danny Danon, said that Israel is “ready to discuss the first part of the plan,” related to the release of hostages, which would allow the release of detainees in Gaza in exchange for Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.
He added that the Israeli government “is seriously dealing with the Egyptian proposal, because it deals seriously with any opportunity to release the hostages,” according to the Wall Street Journal.