Egypt in touch with Hamas and Israel in search of Gaza ceasefire deal, sources say

Israeli soldiers operate in the Gaza Strip

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt was in contact with senior Hamas and Israeli figures as well as other mediators on Sunday in an effort to restart negotiations for a truce in the Gaza Strip during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which begins on Monday or Tuesday, two Egyptian security sources said.

Egypt's contacts with Hamas and Israeli intelligence agency Mossad on Sunday were carried out under a mandate from the Egyptian presidency in an effort to bring the two sides' divergent positions together, the sources said, without providing further details.

Qatar, Egypt and the United States have been trying to negotiate a deal for a ceasefire during Ramadan in return for the release of Israel hostages captured in the attack that Hamas carried out on Oct. 7, sparking the war in Gaza.

The latest round of talks, not attended by Israel, broke up in Cairo this week.

Israel's Mossad said on Saturday that efforts to secure a deal were ongoing, despite dimming hopes for securing a truce before Ramadan starts.

(Reporting by Ahmed Mohamed Hassan; Writing by Aidan Lewis; Editing by Giles Elgood)