American, Israeli and Hamas negotiators are expected in Cairo in a renewed push for a ceasefire and hostage release deal in a war that reaches the half-year mark Sunday.

Egypt's Al-Qahera News said CIA Director Bill Burns and Qatari Prime Minister HE Sheikh Mohamed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim al-Thani would join Egyptian mediators Sunday's indirect talks between the Israeli and Hamas delegations.

Ahead of the talks Hamas, confirmed its core demands — a complete ceasefire in Gaza and withdrawal of Israeli forces.

The ceasefire attempt comes after Israel's military made a rare admission of wrongdoing and said it was firing two officers over the killing of seven aid workers in Gaza where humanitarians say famine is imminent.

The admission did not quell calls for an independent probe, however.

The deaths of the workers from US-based World Central Kitchen (WCK) on April 1 led to a tense call between US President Joe Biden and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Biden for the first time hinted at conditioning US support for Israel on curtailing the killing of civilians and improving humanitarian conditions.

Israel has relentlessly bombarded the territory, killing at least 33,137 people, mostly women and children, according to the health ministry in the Hamas-run territory.

Fears that the war could spread intensified after Iran vowed retaliation after seven Revolutionary Guards were killed in an air strike Monday on the consular annex of its embassy in Damascus.

Stop-start talks have made no headway since a week-long truce in November saw some hostages exchanged for Palestinian prisoners detained by Israel.

Hamas said it would send a team to Cairo for talks. "Hamas confirms its adherence to the position it presented on March 14... and we will not back down from this position," a statement said.

"The demands... are complete ceasefire, withdrawal of the occupation forces from Gaza, the return of the displaced to their residential areas, freedom of movement of the people, offering them aid and shelter, and a serious hostage exchange deal," it said.

The Israeli military announced it was firing two officers after finding a series of errors led to the drone strikes that killed the WCK workers.

WCK said its Gaza operations remain suspended after the attack, while other global aid groups said relief work in the territory has become almost impossible.

The army said a commander "mistakenly assumed" Hamas had seized the aid vehicles, which were moving at night.

WCK said Israel "cannot credibly investigate its own failure in Gaza". Britain called for a "wholly independent review", while Poland sought a "criminal" probe.

Hours after Biden and Netanyahu spoke, Israel announced it would allow "temporary" aid deliveries through Ashdod port and the Erez border crossing.

Around 1.5 mn Gazans are sheltering in the territory's far south, in Rafah.

Troops recovered from Khan Yunis the body of Elad Katzir, who was abducted on October 7.
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