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Hamas Leader Signals Near Truce Agreement with Israel

On Tuesday, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh expressed hope, implying that his armed organisation is on the approach of establishing a peace with Israel.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh expressed optimism on Tuesday, suggesting that his militant movement is on the verge of reaching a truce agreement with Israel. 

The statement conveyed through Telegram indicates progress in negotiations that aim to secure the release of around 240 hostages, predominantly Israeli citizens, seized on October 7.

Tragic Consequences of Recent Conflict:

The hostage situation arose following a cross-border assault by Hamas, resulting in approximately 1,200 casualties, predominantly civilians. 

In retaliation, Israel launched a relentless bombing campaign and ground offensive, with the stated objectives of dismantling Hamas and securing the hostages’ release. 

The conflict, according to Gaza’s Hamas government, has claimed over 13,300 lives, including thousands of children.

Mediation Efforts and Ongoing Negotiations:

Mediated by Qatar, where Hamas maintains a political office, intense negotiations have been ongoing to broker a deal. 

On Sunday, Qatar’s prime minister indicated that minor practical issues were the remaining obstacles to finalizing an agreement. 

The involvement of Qatar and its political office has positioned it as a key mediator in the negotiations.

Tentative Deal and Possible Terms:

Sources familiar with the talks revealed a tentative deal that includes a five-day truce, incorporating a ceasefire on the ground and restrictions on Israeli air operations over southern Gaza. 

In exchange, approximately 50 to 100 prisoners, including Israeli civilians and hostages of other nationalities but excluding military personnel, would be released. 

The proposed agreement also entails the release of around 300 Palestinians from Israeli jails, including women and children.

International Involvement and Humanitarian Concerns:

US President Joe Biden expressed his belief on Monday that a hostage deal was close, signaling optimism for a positive outcome. 

Simultaneously, the International Committee of the Red Cross reported its president’s visit to Qatar to meet with Hamas’s Haniyeh, focusing on humanitarian issues arising from the conflict and emphasizing the urgent need for the protection of all victims.

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