Skip to content

On the way to a truce in Gaza? Agreement “more or less” accepted by Israel, ball “in Hamas’s court,” according to US

Are we heading towards a truce in Gaza? A senior US official assured on Saturday that a truce agreement in the Gaza war was “on the table” and that the “ball is now in Hamas’s court” for it to take effect. “The Israelis more or less accepted it. And a six-week ceasefire could begin today in the Gaza Strip if Hamas agrees to release a clearly defined category of vulnerable hostages,” the US official said in a press interview, adding that “discussions are currently ongoing” to close the agreement before the start of Ramadan, a week. He clarified that this truce was intended as a “first phase” with the aim of achieving “something more lasting”, in particular to be able to significantly increase humanitarian assistance.

A delegation from Hamas, the Palestinian Islamist movement that rules the Gaza enclave, was due to travel to Cairo on Saturday to attend talks with Qatar, the United States and Egypt on a truce agreement. A source close to this movement told AFP about this. The talks are focused on a six-week truce coupled with the release of hostages in exchange for Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.

US President Joe Biden initially expressed “hope” for a deal to be signed by Monday before denying that claim. On Friday he said he was “hopeful” that a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip could be reached by Ramadan, the Muslim holy month, which is due to begin on March 10 or 11. “We may not succeed,” he warned, however.

130 hostages held in Gaza

A source close to Hamas, who wished to remain anonymous, said the Palestinian delegation “will meet with Egyptian observers of the ceasefire negotiations to follow developments in discussions aimed at ending the (Israeli) offensive and war and reaching an agreement on the exchange of hostages.” .

Earlier this week, a source close to Hamas said the Islamist movement had offered to release one hostage a day for 42 days in exchange for 10 Palestinian prisoners for each hostage. About 250 people were kidnapped and taken to the Gaza Strip during the unprecedented Oct. 7 Hamas attack in Israel that killed 1,160 people, mostly civilians, according to AFP, based on official data.

According to Israeli authorities, 130 hostages are still being held there, 31 of whom are believed to have died after the release of 105 hostages in exchange for 240 Palestinians during the first truce in late November. In response to the October 7 attack, Israel vowed to destroy Hamas, and its military offensive has led to the deaths of more than 30,000 people in the Gaza Strip, the vast majority of them civilians, according to the Hamas health ministry.

The latter also demands the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Gaza Strip, the return of displaced Gazans to the north of the territory and the flow of humanitarian aid for populations at risk of famine as part of truce talks, according to a source close to the Islamist movement.

Source: Le Parisien

Share this article:
globalhappenings news.jpg
most popular