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Israel's Shin Bet chief visits Cairo for Gaza ceasefire talks


Jerusalem, July 9
An Israeli delegation, headed by Shin Bet security service chief Ronen Bar, spoke in Cairo on a ceasefire deal with Hamas, the media reported.

State-owned Kan TV reported on Monday that Bar also discussed with Egyptian officials the means to prevent weapons smuggling by Hamas from Egypt to Gaza.

Bar later visited Qatar to meet with negotiators there on a ceasefire deal for the war that has entered its 10th month and secure the release of about 120 hostages still held in Gaza, some of whom were feared dead, Xinhua news agency reported.

On Sunday, ahead of the delegation's departure, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he would only agree to a ceasefire deal if it allowed Israel to resume its military operations in Gaza following the release of hostages.

Hamas signaled last week that it had dropped a key demand that Israel first commit to a permanent ceasefire before it would sign the agreement, raising hopes for progress in the internationally brokered negotiations.