Negotiators meet for Israel-Hamas ceasefire talks as Gaza death toll rises

11:38 am ET, May 4, 2024

US and Israeli officials say finalizing any ceasefire deal could take days

From CNN’s Jeremy Diamond and Kevin Liptak

Destroyed structures are seen after Israeli attacks hit a refugee camp in Northern Gaza on April 26.

Mahmoud Issa/Anadolu/Getty Images

As negotiators meet in Cairo on Saturday, US and Israeli officials say any potential agreement on a framework that would pair a temporary ceasefire with a release of hostages in Gaza would likely be followed by continued negotiations over the fine details of the deal.

A final deal between the two parties is expected to take several more days to negotiate. Negotiators have made progress on the technical aspects of a potential deal, but two Israeli sources say it could take a week to finalize the deal itself.

A US official echoed this point Saturday, saying even if Hamas accepts the deal as proposed, it would take several more days to hammer out some of the details that would eventually result in a truce. Those discussions could also be difficult and stretched out. American officials continue to view the talks with cautious optimism, describing progress but still mindful that previous efforts have fallen apart at the last minute.

As Hamas met with mediators in Cairo on Saturday, Mossad Director David Barnea remained in Israel. But Israeli sources said he could quickly head to Egypt if Hamas agrees to the framework.

CIA Director Bill Burns, who has acted as a key interlocutor for the United States in the multiparty talks, is in Cairo, a person familiar with the matter says.

CNN has reached out to other mediators in the negotiations.

CNN’s MJ Lee, Alex Marquardt, Kareem Khadder, Mostafa Salem and Eve Brennan contributed to this report.

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