Deal for Mass Release of Hostages in Gaza Conflict Nears Completion
Israel and Hamas Say Deal Terms Are Approaching
Gazans being evacuated to Brazil. Israel and Hamas are moving closer to a deal over release of civilian hostages from the Gaza enclave, sources in Israel and Hamas say.
In a significant development, Israeli and Hamas sources have both acknowledged that a major deal for the mass release of hostages in the Gaza conflict is closer than ever before. A US official, cited in a Reuters report on Tuesday, confirmed that the negotiations are in the final stages.
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh has expressed his belief that they are on the verge of reaching a truce agreement with Israel. Additionally, an official from Prime Minister Netanyahu's office stated that an announcement regarding the deal may be imminent. CNBC has even reported that the Israeli prime minister's office has announced that a deal has already been reached.
The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) have released closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage that allegedly shows Hamas bringing hostages to al-Shifa hospital on October 7th. This evidence further supports the claims made by both Israeli and Hamas sources regarding the impending deal.
According to sources in Reuters, the anticipated agreement is expected to include a multi-day pause in fighting. As part of the deal, Hamas would release approximately 50 Israeli civilian hostages, while Israel would release female and minor-aged Palestinians currently in its custody.
The release of several thousand Palestinians, some of whom have been held without charges, has been a key demand by Hamas since October 7.
Prime Minister Netanyahu expressed his increasing optimism about the progress being made towards the release of the hostages. During a meeting with military reservists, he stated: "We are making progress on the release of the hostages. I hope we will have good news soon."
In light of this positive development, Netanyahu has convened a series of urgent Cabinet meetings to discuss the details of the pending deal.
The Israeli Prime Minister's office has also declared that special Cabinet meetings will be held today following reports of the close proximity of a deal with Hamas. This announcement further underscores the seriousness and urgency with which both parties are approaching the negotiations.
Axios has reported specific details of the deal based on information from diplomatic sources familiar with the Qatar-mediated talks. While the exact terms of the agreement have not been disclosed, the revelation of these details suggests that progress has been made in addressing the complex issues at hand.
As the Gaza conflict enters a critical phase, the potential mass release of hostages represents a significant step towards de-escalation and peace in the region. The international community eagerly awaits further updates and hopes for a successful resolution to the ongoing crisis.