Israeli Media Report Progress on Reaching a Temporary Truce in Gaza and a Hostage-prisoner Exchange

Published February 25, 2024

Mediators are making progress on an agreement for a weekslong cease-fire between Israel and Hamas and the release of dozens of hostages held in Gaza as well as Palestinians imprisoned by Israel, Israeli media reported Sunday.

Israel’s War Cabinet met to discuss the proposal late Saturday, but there was no official word on what they had decided. Several Israeli media outlets, citing unnamed officials, said it tacitly approved the deal and that Israel would send a delegation to Qatar for further discussions.

Hamas says it has not yet been involved in the latest proposal developed by the United States, Egypt and Qatar, but the reported outline largely matches its earlier demands for the first phase of a truce. Hamas’ top political leader, Ismail Haniyeh, was in Cairo last week.

Israel is meanwhile developing plans for expanding its offensive to the southernmost city of Rafah, on the Gaza-Egypt border, where more than half the territory’s population of 2.3 million have sought refuge in squalid tent camps, packed apartments and overflowing shelters. Aid groups have warned of a catastrophe and the U.S. and other allies of Israel have said it must avoid harming civilians.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he’ll convene the Cabinet this week to “approve the operational plans for action in Rafah,” including the evacuation of civilians.



RELATED: Hamas softens demands? The new terms of the Gaza hostage deal outline – report

Reports claim ceasefire in Gaza for six weeks, 35-40 hostages to be released • Hamas ‘willing to be more flexible on terms for an outline’

Israelis gather in Tel Aviv for the release of Gaza hostages on November 25, 2023 (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)
Published February 24, 2024

Potential headway in reaching a deal for the release of hostages has been made after Hamas dropped some of its more harsh demands and outlined possibilities for a hostage deal that they could work with, according to Israeli media reports on Saturday.

According to reports, Hamas officials have told Arab media sources that they are willing to be flexible on the following three parameters: The length of a ceasefire, how many Palestinian prisoners will be released, and the condition of a complete IDF withdrawal from the Gaza strip.

The reports state that Hamas gave up on its original demands of 1,500 Palestinian prisoners for 40 hostages. Hamas also allegedly gave up on a full withdrawal of the IDF from the Gaza Strip but still insisted on a withdrawal from central cities and the removal of military barriers so displaced Gazans could return to their homes.

Different Israeli media sources have claimed different numbers of hostages agreed upon in an alleged agreement with Channel 13, citing 35-40 Israeli hostages in exchange for 200-300 Palestinian terrorists in Israeli prisons and six weeks of a temporary ceasefire.

A similar outline was reported at the end of January by the London-based Arabic newspaper Asharq-Al Awsat, but nothing new has been reported since.





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Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter
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