Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, a London-based news outlet owned by a Qatari company, on Sunday reported, citing an informed Egyptian source, that “the Israeli government was surprised by the form of response that Hamas submitted to the hostage mediators in Cairo.
“There was a perception or expectation in Israel that Hamas would provide a brief response of approval or rejection of the framework agreement, followed by an indirect negotiation process to formulate the details, but Hamas surprised everyone by formulating very precise details of the stages proposed by the Paris meeting in general, without going into details.”
The Hamas delegation, which began a visit to Cairo last Friday, held joint marathon meetings with those responsible for the mediation in Egypt and Qatar, to explain the point of view of Hamas regarding the hostages-for-prisoners exchange offer.
The Egyptian source surmised, “Perhaps the form of the response of Hamas and the other factions is what confused the Israeli government, which was preparing to prolong the process of negotiating a ceasefire and releasing the prisoners, in a way that would make it emerge from the impasse it faces in front of the families of the hostages, the opposition parties, and the American administration.”
The Egyptian source revealed that “what is being raised about Israel’s refusal to send a representative delegation to Cairo is not accurate,” noting that the next few days “will witness the arrival of an Israeli delegation to determine the position of Hamas and the other factions,” before CIA Director William Burns arrives in Cairo.
The source also revealed that Burns “will come to Cairo on a dual mission. In addition to the mission of advancing the Gaza talks and the negotiation process between the Israeli government and Hamas, and working to resolve the controversial points, he will also work to ease the Egyptian-American atmosphere in the wake of President Joe Biden’s statements that caused embarrassment to the Egyptian leadership.”
That one had to do with Biden telling a room full of reporters that he convinced Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (he first suggested he was the president of Mexico) to open the Rafah crossing for aid after Sisi had rejected that step. According to Biden, al-Sisi did not initially want to open the Rafah crossing for aid to Gaza, but Biden spoke to him and convinced him to open it.
The Egyptian sources also said that “Egyptian officials have ended their meetings with the Hamas delegation having reached positive understandings, but the crisis is centered around the hardline position of Benjamin Netanyahu’s government on reaching an agreement.”
The sources suggested that “Netanyahu will not stop firing, at present,” saying that “it is unlikely that he will submit to the warnings of the United States and the warnings of neighboring countries.”
As long as we’re all aware of this. On Saturday night, Netanyahu made it very clear in an appearance on ABC World News: