Hamas responds positively to proposal to release hostages, according to Qatar

 Hamas has shown signs of accepting the proposal to release hostages in exchange for a truce in the Israeli offensive on Gaza, announced Qatar, which is acting as mediator.

“The meeting in Paris managed to consolidate a proposal on the table that was approved by the Israeli side and now we have an initial positive confirmation from Hamas,” Qatari Foreign Ministry spokesman Majed al Ansari said in Washington.

During a talk at Johns Hopkins University, the spokesperson stressed that there are still details to refine, but he was “optimistic” because it is the first time in two months that “both parties agree on the premises” on which they are being discussed. negotiating.

Progress towards a truce agreement in the Middle East

Al Ansari announced that there is “a very difficult road ahead” and warned that the situation is “fluid,” but he expressed confidence that in the coming weeks there may be “good news.”

The intelligence chiefs of Israel, the US and Egypt, as well as the prime minister of Qatar, reached on Monday after two days of meeting in Paris a proposed agreement for a new truce and an exchange of hostages for Palestinian prisoners, draft who was later transferred to the Hamas leadership.

If there is an agreement, this would be the second truce after the one agreed between Israel and Hamas between November 24 and 30, which allowed the exchange of 105 hostages, including some foreigners, in exchange for the release of 240 Palestinian prisoners. .

According to sources involved in the negotiation, the draft being negotiated includes several stages, the first of which would stipulate the release of 35 civilian captives held by Hamas in exchange for a complete cessation of Israel’s operations in Gaza for 45 days.

Possible hostage exchange agreement

In addition, it includes the release of some 100 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for each hostage released by Hamas, while an increase in the entry of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip is also contemplated.

In the second stage, the female and male soldiers would be released, while the last phase would include the transfer of the bodies of the hostages who have died during their captivity in the Palestinian enclave, according to the sources.

The head of the political bureau of the Islamist group, Ismail Haniyeh, stated on Tuesday that the Palestinian movement “is studying” this proposal and that it will respond “soon”, although he demanded “the complete withdrawal of Israeli troops” from the Gaza Strip.

The Israeli Government is not willing to stop the war, despite growing pressure from the families of those kidnapped to negotiate an agreement at any price for the release of the 132 hostages remaining inside the Strip, who are believed to be that about 28 would be dead.

BY: Nadeem Faisal Baiga