Israel Boycotts Hostage Deal Talks in Cairo

Israeli sources criticized Netanyahu's demand for a list of the names of Israeli hostages that are still alive

A Hamas delegation arrived in Cairo on Sunday for hostage deal talks, but Israel has boycotted the negotiations.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu broke off hostage deal talks because Hamas did not provide a list of all the living Israeli hostages. Sources in Israel’s security cabinet criticized Netanyahu’s demand in comments to Haaretz.

“As with the previous deal, one could assume there would eventually be proper lists of the hostages and of those no longer living. This didn’t need to be made into a deal-breaker for advancing the negotiations,” one source said.

The potential deal that’s on the table is for Hamas to release about 40 Israeli hostages in exchange for a six-week ceasefire and the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners. Hamas has been seeking a permanent ceasefire and Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, but there were signs on Sunday that the Palestinian group may be more flexible on its demands.

A senior Hamas source told Lebanon’s Al Mayadeen that a deal could be reached soon despite “obstacles” being put in the way by Israel. “Despite these obstacles, the possibility of reaching an agreement is still viable, especially as the occupation is being dealt heavy blows in Khan Younis and al-Zaytoun neighborhood,” the Hamas source said.

Citing Arab media, Haaretz reported a Hamas source said the group could be flexible on the length of the ceasefire and the number of Palestinian prisoners that will be released. But both Hamas sources said they are standing firm on two conditions: Israel allowing displaced Palestinians to return to northern Gaza and the delivery of much more aid to the north.

While Hamas might be willing to accept a temporary ceasefire, a deal won’t happen if Israel isn’t participating in the indirect negotiations, which are being mediated by Egypt and Qatar. Netanyahu may be trying to sabotage a deal since it’s in his political interest to keep the conflict going, something even President Biden has reportedly acknowledged in private conversations.

So far, the US-backed Israeli slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza has killed over 30,000 people. About 70% of the casualties are women and children. Despite the massive civilian casualties and the starvation siege, the US continues to provide unconditional military aid.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.