CAIRO (NEWSnet/AP) — Three days of negotiation with Hamas for a cease-fire in Gaza and the release of Israel hostages ended Tuesday without a breakthrough, Egypt officials said.

For weeks, United States, Eqypt and Qatar have tried to develop an agreement in which Hamas would release up to 40 hostages in return for a monthlong cease-fire, the release of some Palestinian prisoners and an influx of aid.

Two Egypt officials said the latest round of discussions have ended. They said Hamas presented a proposal that mediators will discuss with Israel in the coming days.

“The negotiations are sensitive. I can’t say there is optimism or pessimism, but we haven’t yet reached a point at which we can achieve a cease-fire," Egypt Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said Monday.

Hamas has refused to release the estimated 100 hostages it holds, and the remains of around 30 more, unless Israel ends its offensive, withdraws from the territory and releases Palestinian prisoners.

Jihad Taha, a Hamas spokesperson, said the negotiation continues, but “the ball is in the Israeli court.” He said Israel has refused Hamas' demand for people who fled northern Gaza to be allowed to return and for guarantees of a cease-fire and full withdrawal.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected Hamas' demands and vowed to continue the war until Hamas is dismantled and all hostages are returned. Israel did not send a delegation to the latest round of negotiation.

Follow NEWSnet on Facebook and X platform to get our headlines in your social feeds.

Copyright 2024 NEWSnet and The Associated Press. All rights reserved.