The Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahuconvened his war cabinet this Tuesday in a context of growing signs of a imminent agreement on release of the hostages that were taken by Hamas terrorists to the Gaza Strip more than six weeks ago.
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“We’re going forward. I don’t think it’s worth saying too much, even at this moment, but I hope there is good news soon”he told reservists without giving further details, according to a statement from his office.
They also noted that “in light of the developments in the matter of the release of our hostages,” would convene his war cabinet at 16:00 GMT followed by meetings of his broader security cabinet and the full cabinet.
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For days there has been talk of an imminent agreement on the release of the hostages. Hamas took about 240 hostages, among them children and the elderly, during their October 7 raid on Israel, in which 1,200 people died, according to the Israeli count.
Kamelia Hoter Ishay, grandmother of 13-year-old Gali Tarshansky, who is believed to be held in Gaza, said she tried not to follow all the news about the deal because she feared she would be disappointed. “The only thing I’m waiting for is the call from my daughter, Reuma, who will tell me: ‘Gali is coming back,’ and then I will know that it is really over and I will be able to breathe a sigh of relief and say that’s it, it’s over,” she said.
In a sign that he expected the hostages to return soon, Netanyahu’s office said he was summoning the directors general of all relevant government ministries to prepare treatment and help, in light of recent events.
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A U.S. official familiar with the Qatar-facilitated talks said Hamas would free 50 women and children, including some foreigners, while Israel would free 150 Palestinian prisoners, mostly women and minors, during a temporary four-day ceasefire.
There is a tentative agreement, but it is not final until everything is agreed upon, the US official said. “We believe we are very, very close to reaching an agreement,” the official told the agency. Reuters. “There is still a lot of work to do, approval still needs to be achieved, but we think we are very close.”
According to journalist Jonathan Lis, from the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, 30 children, 8 mothers and 12 other women They would be released as part of the hostage deal that has been presented to Netanyahu’s government for approval.
Reporter Becky Anderson, from cnn, also reported that the freed hostages are expected to be minors. “I just found out from a source: It’s going to be almost entirely boys,” she said, while reporting from Doha, Qatar.
Israel, the United States and Qatar, which mediates with Hamas, have been negotiating for weeks a release of hostages that would be accompanied by a temporary ceasefire in Gaza and the entry of more humanitarian aid.
(With information from Reuters)