Egypt is continuing its efforts to negotiate a ceasefire and hostage release deal in Gaza, despite uncertainty surrounding its role as a mediator. The country has been in communication with Israel to schedule new talks, as reported by two Egyptian security sources on Thursday.

Over the course of several months, Egypt, Qatar, and the United States have been engaged in intermittent discussions aimed at brokering a phased agreement between Israel and Hamas. This agreement would pave the way for a truce in Gaza and the gradual release of Israeli hostages held in the region.

Amid concerns arising from stalled previous negotiations and Israel's military operations in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, Egypt had hinted at the possibility of withdrawing from its mediation role. However, Egyptian mediators received gratitude from Israeli security officials for their involvement, with both parties expressing a commitment to finalizing the Gaza negotiations and arranging a date for talks.

Following a war cabinet meeting on Wednesday night, a statement from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office confirmed the instruction for continued negotiations to secure the hostages' return.

Egypt has expressed apprehension over Israel's military activities in Rafah and its assumption of operational control over the Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. There is a particular concern about the potential displacement of Palestinians. Furthermore, the U.S. has urged Egypt to facilitate the resumption of aid deliveries through the Rafah crossing, while Egypt has emphasized the need for Palestinian oversight at the Gaza side of the crossing for aid distribution to recommence.