Hamas accepts US proposal on release of Israeli hostages in Gaza – El Heraldo

Hamas accepts US proposal on release of Israeli hostages in Gaza – El Heraldo
Hamas accepts US proposal on release of Israeli hostages in Gaza – El Heraldo

The Islamist militant group has dropped a demand that Israel first commit to a permanent ceasefire before signing the deal, and would allow negotiations to achieve that over the first six-week phase, the source told Reuters on condition of anonymity because the talks are private.
A Palestinian official close to internationally brokered peace efforts had said the proposal could lead to a framework agreement if accepted by Israel and would end the nine-month war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.
An Israeli negotiating source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Friday there was now a real chance of reaching a deal. That was in sharp contrast to previous occasions in the nine-month Gaza war when Israel said Hamas’s conditions were unacceptable.
A spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Saturday, the Jewish Sabbath. On Friday, his office said talks would continue next week and stressed that differences remained between the sides.
The conflict has claimed the lives of more than 38,000 Palestinians, according to Gaza health authorities, since Hamas attacked southern Israeli towns on October 7, killing 1,200 people and taking some 250 hostages, according to official Israeli figures.
The new proposal ensures that mediators will guarantee a temporary ceasefire, the delivery of aid and the withdrawal of Israeli troops while indirect talks continue to implement the second phase of the agreement, according to the Hamas source.
Efforts to secure a ceasefire and the release of hostages in Gaza have intensified in recent days with active shuttle diplomacy between Washington, Israel and Qatar, which is leading mediation efforts from Doha, where Hamas’s exiled leadership is based.
A regional source said the US government was working to reach an agreement before the presidential elections in November.
Netanyahu said Friday that the head of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency had returned from an initial meeting with mediators in Qatar and that negotiations would continue next week.

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