Egypt’s top diplomat Sameh Shoukry said in a meeting on Wednesday with his French counterpart that parties “must show the necessary flexibility” to achieve a truce in Gaza “that stops the bloodshed of Palestinians.”

In a “quick visit” by French Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjourné in Cairo, the pair “exchanged assessments on the ongoing truce negotiations between Hamas and Israel,” according to the Egyptian Foreign Ministry.

Séjourné’s regional tour, which has taken him to Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Israel in recent days, comes as Gaza’s Hamas rulers weigh the latest plan for a truce with Israel proposed in Cairo talks with US, Egyptian and Qatari mediators.

The Palestinian armed faction is considering a plan for a 40-day ceasefire and the exchange of hostages for Palestinian prisoners, nearly seven months into the devastating war.

Senior Hamas official Suhail al-Hindi told AFP on Wednesday that the group will “deliver its response clearly within a very short period.”

Before deciding whether to send envoys to Cairo to nail down a deal, an Israeli official told AFP that the government “will wait for answers until Wednesday night.”

It also destroyed much of the territory’s civilian infrastructure, displaced nearly all of its 2.4 million people and pushed the population to the brink of starvation.

The United Nations urged Israel to allow more humanitarian aid in, warning that without urgent intervention, Gaza faces famine, particularly in northern areas, which are hardest to reach.

Séjourné also shared with Shoukry “the results of his recent visit to Lebanon,” where months of cross-border violence between Israel and Hezbollah have killed at least 385 people, mostly fighters, but also 73 civilians, according to an AFP tally.

Israel says that 11 soldiers and nine civilians have been killed on its side of the border.

According to the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, France’s top diplomat said that “a potential truce in Gaza must be accompanied by a similar truce in Lebanon.”

With AFP