Names of Live Hostages Required for Any Deal With Hamas, Israel Insists

By Yoni Weiss

People walk past a large mural reading “Now” at Hostage Square in Tel Aviv, last week. (Miriam Alster/FLASH90)

Israeli officials said on Sunday that while Hamas responded to the proposal agreed upon in Paris last week with mediating countries, they still refuse to disclose the names of Israeli hostages and the number of Palestinian prisoners they demand for each released hostage.

Contrary to earlier reports, there is no Israeli delegation in Cairo for talks, as Hamas has not provided clear answers, prompting a unanimous decision among relevant professional teams, not exclusively Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s position.

Hamas maintains its stance that a hostage release deal must include an end to the war, rejecting Israel’s demand for names unless there is an agreement on a full IDF withdrawal from Gaza. Egyptian officials assured Hamas that the terms of a permanent ceasefire would be negotiated in subsequent phases, involving the return of 40 captives to Israel, including women, the elderly, and the infirm, in exchange for a six-week pause in the conflict.

A U.S. official noted that Israel has essentially agreed to the proposal, placing the onus on Hamas to accept. Mediators are scheduled to meet in Cairo on Sunday for talks, although Israel insists on Hamas providing names of live hostages beforehand. According to a Hamas official quoted by Saudi Arabia’s Asharq news channel, the group is expected to respond to the proposal within hours, indicating a willingness to compromise.

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