Biden's top middle east advisor to visit Israel, Egypt

Tel Aviv, Feb 20 (IANS): With the ceasefire mooted by the US, Egypt and Qatar in the ongoing war between Hamas and Israel not gaining traction, US President Joe Biden's top advisor is scheduled to reach Israel and Egypt on Wednesday.

Brett McGurk, the senior most advisor to the US President, will reach Egypt to accelerate the ongoing peace talks for a ceasefire and release of hostages in the ongoing war.

The top US official will meet the Chief of Egyptian Intelligence, Abbas Kamal, and hold a series of meetings with him and other senior Egyptian officials. The Israel's ground invasion of Rafah in Gaza Strip which shares the border with Egypt will also be a major point of discussion between the US official and Egyptians.

McGurk will then leave for Tel Aviv and will have meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. The Israel war cabinet member and Minister without portfolio, Benny Gantz will also meet the visiting top US official.

A series of mediatory talks held in Europe, Cairo and Doha for a second ceasefire to the ongoing war between Hamas and Israel has not borne fruit till now.

While Hamas want a permanent ceasefire and withdrawal of the IDF from Gaza, Israel has agreed for a temporary four week ceasefire wherein Hamas would release 35 hostages in its capacity with Israel reciprocating by releasing Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails almost three times the number of Israeli hostages released.

Since the war commenced on October 7, 2023 a one week ceasefire between November 24 and December 1 saw the release of 105 Israeli hostages in exchange of 324 Palestinians who were lodged in Israeli jails.

The families of hostages in Hamas custody has been demanding Israeli authorities to work for a ceasefire deal and to release their dear one's from the captivity of Hamas terror group.



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Title: Biden's top middle east advisor to visit Israel, Egypt

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