The framework agreement for a six-week ceasefire in Gaza is ready, with his agreement Israeland it is up to the Islamist Palestinian group Hamas to release hostages, a senior US administration official said today.

“The hostages must be released,” the official told reporters. “The agreement basically exists. But I don’t want to create expectations on one side or the other.”

“The Israelis have more or less accepted it. And a six-week ceasefire could begin today in Gaza if the Hamas was agreeing to release a very specific category of vulnerable hostages,” the US official added, clarifying that for now “talks are continuing” to seal a deal before the start of Ramadan in a week.

In addition, a Hamas delegation is due to go to Cairo today where negotiations for a cease-fire in Gaza will resume tomorrow, Sunday, a source close to the Islamist Palestinian movement and a television station close to the Egyptian intelligence services told AFP.

Qatar, the United States and Egypt are trying to extract a deal between Hamas and Israel that calls for a six-week ceasefire combined with the release of hostages in exchange for the release of Palestinians held by Israel.

Representatives of these countries “will resume negotiations for a cease-fire in Gaza on Sunday in Cairo”, reported the Egyptian television station AlQahera News. “All parties will participate” in these talks, he clarified citing “high-ranking officials”.

The source close to Hamas, who asked not to be named, said a delegation from the Palestinian movement “will go to meet the Egyptians who are overseeing the negotiations around a ceasefire to monitor the progress of the talks aimed at ending the (Israeli) attack and the war and to reach an agreement for a hostage exchange.”

Earlier this week, a source close to Hamas said the Islamist movement offered to release one hostage a day for 42 days in exchange for 10 imprisoned Palestinians for each hostage.