Hope Rises for New Talks on Gaza Cease-fire as Israel Scales Back Demands

Israeli negotiators, offering a hint of hope for negotiations over a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip, have reduced the number of hostages they want Hamas to release during the first phase of a truce, three Israeli officials said on Monday.

For weeks, cease-fire talks have been at a standstill. Now, with the new proposal in hand, a mid-ranking delegation from Israel was planning to fly to Cairo on Tuesday to resume them — but only if Hamas agrees to attend, according to two of the officials. They spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive issue.

Hamas did not respond to a request for comment about whether it would send representatives to Cairo. A senior Hamas official said on social media on Monday that the group was studying a new Israeli proposal.

The American secretary of state, Antony J. Blinken, who was meeting in Saudi Arabia on Monday with Arab diplomats, said the onus was now on Hamas.

“Hamas has before it a proposal that is extraordinarily generous on the part of Israel,” Mr. Blinken said at an economic forum in Riyadh. “And at the moment, the only thing standing between the people of Gaza and a cease-fire is Hamas.”

Speaking at the same forum, the British foreign minister, David Cameron, said the offer included a sustained 40-day cease-fire and the release of potentially thousands of Palestinians imprisoned in Israel in exchange for the hostages being held by Hamas.

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