HomeWorldMediators seek lasting Israel-Hamas truce, aiming for definitive agreement in Gaza conflict.

Mediators seek lasting Israel-Hamas truce, aiming for definitive agreement in Gaza conflict.

Mediators Work to Bridge Differences Between Israel and Hamas

Positive Response from Hamas Sparks Hope for Ceasefire

U.S., Qatari, and Egyptian mediators are working on a diplomatic push to bridge differences between Israel and Hamas on a ceasefire plan for Gaza. The Palestinian group responded positively to a proposal for an extended pause in fighting and hostage releases, igniting hopes for a potential breakthrough.

Hamas Responds to Ceasefire Framework

Hamas replied to a framework drawn up more than a week ago by U.S. and Israeli spy chiefs at a meeting in Paris with the Egyptians and Qataris. While details of the response were not disclosed, Hamas stated that it responded “in a positive spirit, ensuring a comprehensive and complete ceasefire, ending the aggression against our people, ensuring relief, shelter, and reconstruction, lifting the siege on the Gaza Strip, and achieving a prisoner swap.”

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International Efforts to Secure Agreement

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, currently on a tour of the Middle East, expressed optimism about the potential agreement. He plans to discuss the Hamas response with Israeli officials during his visit to the country. Qatar described the Hamas response as “positive” overall, while Egyptian security sources indicated that Hamas showed flexibility.

Truce Details and Potential Phases

Sources close to the talks have suggested that the truce would last at least 40 days, during which the militants would free civilians among the remaining hostages they hold. Further phases would follow to hand over soldiers and dead bodies of hostages in exchange for the release of Palestinians imprisoned in Israel. The truce would also increase the flow of food and other aid to Gaza’s desperate civilians who are facing hunger and dire shortages of basic supplies.

International Perspectives and Stated Positions

U.S. President Joe Biden acknowledged the positive movement from Hamas but highlighted uncertainties about the willingness of both Hamas and Israel to soften their stated hardline positions. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has insisted that Israel will not end its Gaza campaign until Hamas is wiped out and has ruled out the creation of a Palestinian state. Saudi Arabia has also reiterated its stance on diplomatic relations with Israel.

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Concerns and Ongoing Conflict

There is a growing Israeli movement demanding more effort to bring the hostages home, even if that means a deal with Hamas. Israeli military assessments have indicated a significant number of remaining hostages in Gaza, along with casualties from the ongoing conflict. The situation on the ground in Gaza remains precarious, with Israeli forces continuing their offensive in the region.

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