Hamas accepts US proposal on talks to free Israeli hostages

Hamas has demanded that Israel should first commit to a permanent ceasefire before signing an agreement aimed at ending the Gaza war, and will allow talks to achieve that throughout the first six-week phase.
Hamas accepts US proposal on talks to free Israeli hostages
Source: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP

Hamas has accepted a proposal from the US to begin negotiations on releasing Israeli hostages, 16 days after the first phase of a deal aimed at ending the nine-month-old war in Gaza, a senior Hamas source told Reuters on Saturday.

The Palestinian outfit has demanded that Israel should first commit to a permanent ceasefire before signing the agreement, and will allow talks to achieve that throughout the first six-week phase, the source said on the condition of anonymity as the talks were private.

A Palestinian official involved in the mediated truce efforts had said the proposal could result in a framework deal if agreed to by Israel and would end the Gaza war that began on October 7 last year.

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Hamas accepts US proposal on talks to free Israeli hostages

The war, which has killed more than 38,000 people in Gaza, began after Hamas terrorists stormed southern Israeli cities by air, land and sea. They took some 250 people as hostages while around 1,200 people died in the attack.

The US proposal ensures that mediators would guarantee a temporary ceasefire, delivery of humanitarian aid and withdrawal of Israeli troops as long as indirect talks continue to implement the second phase of the deal, the Hamas source said.

Arab mediators' efforts, backed by the US, have so far failed to conclude a ceasefire, with both sides blaming each other for the impasse.

Hamas says any deal must end the war and bring full Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, while Israel says it will accept only temporary pauses in fighting until Hamas, which has ruled Gaza since 2007, is eradicated.

Source: India Today

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