Tel Aviv: As Israel Defence Forces (IDF) continues their ground operation in Gaza, Israel, the United States and Hamas are reportedly “close” to reaching an agreement via Qatari intermediators to free dozens of hostages in exchange of a five-day ceasefire.
According to a Washington Post report, a “six-page agreement” that is up for consideration says that Israel and Hamas will stop fighting for at least five days while an “initial 50 or more” of some 240 hostages taken from Israel during Hamas’s brutal October 7 assault “are released in batches every 24 hours.”
A “significant increase in the amount of humanitarian assistance, including fuel” to the Gaza Strip is also part of the said agreement.
Speaking in response to the report, a spokesperson for the United States National Security Council said that the deal has not been reached yet but they will continue to work hard to get to a deal.
“We’ve made some progress recently and have been working hard to advance this, but it remains a volatile situation,” the Times of Israel quoted a Biden administration official as saying.
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has dismissed “incorrect reports” about imminent agreements with Hamas and said that no deal has been reached “as of now.”
However, according to Israeli media reports, Netanyahu administration wants Hamas to release families – children and their parents – together.
When asked about the deal, Netanyahu said that there was no deal on the table and that he could not elaborate further.
Israel has declared a war against Hamas in response to Palestinian militant outfit’s brutal October 7 attack on northern Israel. More than 1,200 people, including children, women and foreign nationals, were killed in the biggest attack on Israel in its 75-year history. The militants also kidnapped some 240 people. So far, they have release just four hostages on humanitarian grounds.