Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called this Tuesday for a meeting of both the war cabinet and of the entire Government to address “the release of hostages.
“I hope there is good news soon,” Netanyahu said in a statement released by his office. as rumors intensify about an imminent agreement with the Islamist group Hamas for the release of a group of hostages in exchange for Palestinian prisoners and a temporary ceasefire.
(Read also: What is known about the possible truce between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip).
The president first called a meeting with the war cabinet at 6:00 p.m. in Israelthen with the political and security cabinet at 7:00 p.m. and finally with the entire Government at 8:00 p.m.
These meetings were called “in light of developments regarding the release of hostages,” the statement said.
Israeli media anticipated that the reason for these meetings is to grant the necessary government approval to the agreement. which is being negotiated by the United States, Egypt and Qatar.
“We are moving forward. I don’t think it’s worth saying too much, even at this moment,” Netanyahu said, referring to the potential release of hostages, during a meeting with soldiers.
(Keep reading: Hamas assures that it is ‘close to reaching a truce agreement’ with Israel).
Qatar Foreign Ministry spokesman Majed al Ansari also said during a press conference that “the agreement between Hamas and Israel for the exchange of hostages is close. “There are only some logistical and non-essential details missing so they can be resolved.”
Egyptian security sources explained to Efe that the agreement would include a temporary five-day ceasefireduring which 50 hostages held by Hamas will be released in exchange for 300 Palestinian prisoners in Israel.
The sources also detailed that those released would be children and women and that their release “will be carried out in stages, at a rate of 10 Israeli prisoners per day compared to 30 Palestinian prisoners.”
They also highlighted that the pact will allow 300 trucks with food, medical and fuel aid to enter the Gaza Strip.
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Israel declared war on Hamas on October 7 after an attack by the Islamist group that included rocket fire and the infiltration of some 3,000 militiamen who brutally killed some 1,200 people and kidnapped more than 240 in Israeli communities near the Gaza Strip.
Israel’s air, naval and ground forces have since counterattacked on the Palestinian enclave, where more than 13,300 people have died, most of them children and women. as well as more than 6,500 missing people who could be under the rubble, so the death toll could be even higher.