War Cabinet Approves Delegation to Qatar for Continued Hostage Negotiations

By Yoni Weiss

Members of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad release Israeli hostages to the Red Cross, in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, Nov. 28, 2023. (Flash90)

The War Cabinet has approved the dispatch of a mid-level delegation to Qatar in the upcoming days for further negotiations with Hamas regarding a hostage deal. This decision follows the conclusion of the second Paris summit and the return of the Israeli delegation.

As per information on Kan News, the agreement proposes a one-day ceasefire for each hostage, resulting in a temporary cessation of hostilities lasting about six weeks. The deal also involves the release of hundreds of prisoners, with approximately 10 Palestinian prisoners exchanged for each Israeli hostage. Additionally, it includes the repatriation of residents to northern Gaza and the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip.

There is growing optimism in Israel that a comprehensive agreement can be quickly reached, possibly before the start of Ramadan. The upcoming negotiations will primarily focus on identifying and selecting prisoners for release.

Political sources, as reported by Kan, express confidence in the progress of negotiations, emphasizing the importance of a positive signal from Hamas. They suggest that if the green light is given, negotiators could reconvene as early as this week to advance the agreement.

A Cabinet meeting is scheduled for Sunday to discuss the draft agreement.

A statement from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s office highlights ongoing efforts to secure the release of Israeli hostages and dismantle Hamas units in Rafah. “We are working to secure another framework for the release of our hostages, as well as to complete the eradication of Hamas battalions in Rafah. Tonight, we will discuss the next steps in the negotiations. At the beginning of the week, I will convene the Cabinet to approve operational plans for an intervention in Rafah, including the evacuation of the civilian population from the area.”

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