Report: Cairo secretly altered ceasefire proposal for Hamas

Report: Cairo secretly altered ceasefire proposal for Hamas

The changes were made after Israel had already signed off on the original agreement, according to CNN.

An Egyptian intelligence official changed the terms of a ceasefire deal that Israel had already signed off on earlier in May to make it more favorable to Hamas, CNN reported on Tuesday.

Citing three sources with knowledge of the discussions, the U.S.-based news network revealed for the first time the changes made by Cairo, which angered American, Israeli and Qatari negotiators and left negotiations at an impasse.

“We were all duped,” one of the sources told CNN.

CIA Director William Burns was furious when he found out what the Egyptians had done, the source said.

According to the sources, Ahmed Abdel Khalek, a senior Egyptian intelligence official, was responsible for the changes. Abdel Khalek is a senior deputy to Egyptian General Intelligence Directorate chief Maj. Gen. Abbas Kamel, who has been leading the Egyptian mediation to attempt to reach another hostage deal in recent months and reportedly visited Israel in late April to advance the issue.

Abdel Khalek told the Israelis and Hamas different things and put more of the terror group’s demands into the documents than what Jerusalem had agreed to, according to the report.

Israelis call for the release of hostages being held by Hamas in Gaza, outside a meeting of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Tel Aviv, March 22, 2024. Photo by Tomer Neuberg/Flash90. (source: JNS)

“Hamas was telling their people, ‘We will have a deal in place tomorrow,’” one of the sources said, adding that “all sides were under the assumption the Egyptians provided the same document” that Jerusalem had signed off on. Instead, another source confirmed that the Egyptians tried to blur the lines between the original and altered documents.

The move raises questions about Egypt’s role in the ceasefire talks.

Before Egypt underhandedly changed the terms of the deal, U.S. officials had praised Jerusalem for its concessions, calling it “extraordinarily generous on the part of Israel.”

On May 6, Hamas announced that it had agreed to the proposal altered by Egypt. According to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the agreement that Hamas sent back “was very far from Israel’s core demands.”

Talks have been in a stalemate since then.

The terrorist group still holds over 100 hostages kidnapped on Oct. 7.

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