Hostage Talks to Resume in Cairo

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Hostage negotiations are expected to restart this week, days after the the IDF retrieved the corpses of three men, killed on Oct. 7 and abducted by Hamas from the area of Kibbutz Mefalsim, from the Gaza Strip.

An Egyptian source told CNN on Sunday that negotiations are expected to resume in Cairo on Tuesday. Israel’s War Cabinet is expected to discuss the issue at 9 o’clock tonight.

“We must resume negotiations to secure the return of all the hostages—the living for rehabilitation and the murdered for burial,” a spokesperson for the Hostage and Missing Families Forum told JNS on Sunday.

“To the government of Israel and the War Cabinet, we implore you: Do not rest until you have left no stone unturned and exhausted every possible avenue to bring them all home without delay,” the spokesperson added.

On May 6, Hamas announced that it had agreed to a ceasefire proposal altered by Egypt without Jerusalem’s consent. According to Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, the proposal “was very far from Israel’s core demands.” Talks had been in a stalemate since.

On Wednesday, the Hostages and Missing Families Forum released a video of Hamas terrorists abducting female Israel Defense Forces field observers on Oct. 7.

The footage, which was filmed by body cameras of terrorists, revealed the trauma experienced by five of the seven spotters captured alive from the Nahal Oz base. Another 15 field observers serving there were murdered during the attack.

Israel’s War Cabinet has approved updated guidelines for Israel’s negotiating team and on Friday, a delegation led by Mossad head David Barnea flew to Paris where they met with CIA Director Bill Burns and Egyptian and Qatari counterparts and agreed to engage in a new round of talks.

On Saturday, tens of thousands gathered at a rally in Tel Aviv’s “Hostages Square” demanding the government act to free the hostages.

Avivit Yablonka addresses the crowd at Tel Aviv’s “Hostages Square,” May 25, 2024. Photo by Paulina Patimer.
“In just a few hours, I will bury my 42-year-old brother, who was murdered on Oct. 7 and whose body was taken to Gaza. In an instant, I have gone from being a sister with hope to a bereaved sister,” said Avivit Yablonka, sister of the late Hanan Yablonka.

Yablonka’s body, along with those of Orión Hernández Radoux and Michel Nisenbaum, was recovered by Israeli forces during an operation overnight Thursday in Jabalia in northern Gaza.

“My brother, although you returned not as I hoped, there are 125 hostages who are still there, and they must be taken out of this hell now,” added Avivit.

Also attending the rally were the relatives of the five IDF observers still in Hamas captivity who appeared in the gruesome video released by the forum.

“Now is our time to learn from you, Naama. To find the strength to face an unbearably harsh reality. To discover resourcefulness that will guide us to the decisions that need to be made and to muster the courage to make them,” said Ayelet Levy, mother of Naama Levy.

Naama was abducted from the Nahal Oz military base and later filmed in bloodstained clothes being led by Hamas terrorists to Gaza.

“I appeal to the decision-makers, to the War Cabinet, to be like Naama. Show, like her, and like her friends there in Hamas captivity, courage and determination and return our daughters, now,” Levy said.

“We have no time, they have no time. We need to be Naama. Now,” she added.



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