Cabinet to Consider New Gaza Hostage Deal After Paris Talks

By Yoni Weiss

A screen shows the time since Israeli hostages were taken by Hamas terrorists, at a public plaza in front of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art where families of the hostages and their supporters gather to call for their release, Feb. 9. (REUTERS/Susana Vera)

The Cabinet is slated to deliberate on a revised plan for the release of hostages in Gaza following discussions held in Paris on Friday. The Israeli delegation – Mossad chief David Barnea, Shin Bet head Ronen Bar, IDF’s hostages’ affairs coordinator Nitzan Alon, and Head of IDF Strategic Affairs Division Oren Seter – returned to Israel after extensive talks, reportedly yielding positive outcomes.

Sources involved in the negotiations informed the Israeli press that progress has been achieved towards a new framework, though certain crucial details still require resolution. According to Kan News, the proposed outline includes a one-day ceasefire for each released hostage, totaling six weeks of ceasefire. Additionally, for every hostage freed, ten Palestinian prisoners would be released from Israeli jails. Israel would also agree to withdraw from the northern part of the Gaza Strip.

While the issue of expanding humanitarian aid is seen as relatively negotiable, specific details within the new outline remain unclear.

The Paris meeting marked the third gathering among the four parties negotiating a hostage deal with Hamas.

The initial meeting, held at the end of January, involved Barnea, Bar, CIA chief William Burns, Egyptian Intelligence Chief Abbas Kamel, and Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed al-Thani, resulting in the initial outline for a deal. However, the numerous conditions set by Hamas rendered the implementation of the first Paris deal unfeasible, according to Jerusalem’s assessment. It was only after increased pressure from Washington, Doha, and Cairo on Hamas that a second meeting was proposed.

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