Report: Qatari-Mediated Talks Yield Progress in Negotiations for Hostage Release

By Yoni Weiss

Israeli soldiers operate in the Gaza Strip, Monday. (Israel Defense Forces/Handout via REUTERS)

A report by Yediot shed light on the advancements in the negotiations brokered by Qatar between Israel and the Hamas terror group aimed at securing the release of hostages detained in Gaza. Sources indicate that Hamas, recognizing the steadfast stance of the IDF, reluctantly continued discussions, as the IDF showed no inclination to withdraw from Shifa Hospital, contrary to the demands made by the terror group.

In the proposed terms disclosed by Qatari mediators, Hamas expressed readiness to initiate the release of an initial group of about 50 captives. This would be contingent on a four-to-five-day ceasefire, the liberation of approximately 150 Palestinian children and women currently held in Israeli detention, and the allowance of fuel entry into Gaza. However, Hamas indicated uncertainty regarding the whereabouts of all abducted children and mothers, signaling the need to gather them within the initial truce period, provided Israel refrains from conducting airstrikes.

Furthermore, Hamas conveyed a willingness to consider expanding the number of released hostages based on the ability to locate them in Gaza during the ceasefire. Israeli negotiators, in response, suggested that an additional release of 20-25 hostages alongside the initial 50 could potentially pave the way for the liberation of all captive families, encompassing children, mothers, and elderly women.

Despite these developments, Israel, in a late-night statement on Sunday, refuted claims made by Hamas officials regarding the commencement of a ceasefire in Gaza at on Monday morning as part of the alleged hostage release agreement.

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