Egyptian and Qatari officials are putting pressure on Hamas negotiators in Cairo to produce a list of hostages to be released as the first step in a phased ceasefire agreement with Israel, according to officials familiar with the talks, Report informs via The Guardian.

Israel has not sent a delegation to the second day of talks in Cairo, demanding that Hamas present a list of 40 elderly, sick and female hostages who would be the first to be released as part of a truce that would initially last six weeks, beginning with the month of Ramadan, the officials say.

Hamas is meanwhile demanding that large-scale humanitarian aid should be allowed into Gaza and that Palestinians displaced from their homes in the north of the coastal strip should be allowed to return.

US officials have said that Israel had “more or less” accepted the six-week ceasefire deal, which John Kirby, the White House national security spokesperson, confirmed would involve a six-week truce and begin with the release of sick, elderly and female hostages.

Diplomatic sources in Washington said it was unclear what was stopping Hamas from producing a list identifying the first 40 hostages, noting that uncertainty about lists and identities had dogged the last successful hostage negotiations in November. They suggested it could reflect problems of communication between Hamas units inside and outside Gaza, that some hostages could be held by other groups including Palestinian Islamic Jihad, or that elements of Hamas were withholding the information as a way of obstructing a deal.

Washington does not believe the absence of an Israeli delegation was necessarily bad news for a ceasefire hopes, as Israeli negotiators could arrive within a couple of hours if agreement was reached on a list. Egypt and Qatar have assured Joe Biden’s administration that they were putting pressure on the Hamas representatives in Cairo to come up with the identities of the hostages involved.

The US is also stepping up pressure on Israel to open new land routes, as well as a new sea corridor, to allow a far greater flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza to prevent a famine that UN agencies have warned is imminent. The US vice-president, Kamala Harris, said on Sunday that Israel must “significantly increase the flow of aid”.