(Central News Agency, Gaza/Jerusalem, comprehensive foreign news reports on the 21st) Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of the Palestinian armed organization “Hamas” (Hamas), told Reuters today that Hamas and Israel are close to reaching a truce agreement.
Haniyeh said in a statement from his staff to Reuters that Hamas officials and Israel were “close to a truce” and that Hamas had conveyed a response to Qatari personnel coordinating the negotiations.
It’s unclear what the terms of the possible deal would be.
Hamas launched a cross-border raid on Israel on the 7th of last month. Israel said the attack killed about 1,200 people, mostly civilians. Hamas also took about 240 hostages, most of whom were Israelis. In retaliation, Israel began successive bombings and ground offensives in the Gaza Strip under Hamas rule. The Gaza Health Ministry said more than 13,300 people were killed, including thousands of children.
During this period, negotiators have been working hard to reach a deal that would lead to the release of the hostages.
Haniya used Qatar as a stronghold, and Hamas also had a political office there. Qatar acted as a mediator and facilitated intensive negotiations.
In an interview with the American Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) program “This Week” on the 19th of this month, Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Herzog said that he hoped to reach an agreement “in the next few days”; Qatar Prime Minister Mohammed Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman al-Thani also said on the same day that the agreement to release some hostages in exchange for a temporary ceasefire only had “minor” issues.
US President Biden also said yesterday that he believed an agreement to release the hostages would be reached soon.
Two sources familiar with the matter told AFP that there was a five-day interim agreement that included a ground ceasefire and limits on Israeli air strikes in southern Gaza in exchange for the release of 50 militants from Hamas and another Palestinian armed group, Islamic Jihad. to 100 people, including Israeli civilians and other nationalities, but not military personnel.
Under the draft agreement, about 300 Palestinians, including women and children, will be released from Israeli prisons.
The White House said the negotiations were in the final stages but would not elaborate further for fear of undermining the outcome.
White House deputy national security adviser Jon Finer said on the NBC program “Meet the Press” on the 19th: “Sensitive negotiations like this may break down until the last minute… Nothing is finalized until both parties agree on everything.” (Translator: Zeng Yixuan/Verification: Lu Yingzi) 1121121