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Hamas Chief Indicates Near Truce Agreement with Israel Amid Ongoing Conflict

In the midst of a deadly assault on Gaza and persistent rocket attacks into Israel, the chief of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, conveyed to Reuters on Tuesday that the Palestinian militant group is on the verge of reaching a truce agreement with Israel. Despite the ongoing violence, Hamas officials have reportedly provided their response to Qatari mediators.

The statement from Haniyeh did not delve into specific details of the potential truce, but an official from Hamas revealed to Al Jazeera TV that the negotiations are focusing on the duration of the truce, arrangements for delivering aid to Gaza, and the exchange of hostages. According to the official, both sides would release women and children, with Qatar expected to make an official announcement once the details are finalized.

Israel, which has generally refrained from commenting on the Qatar-led talks, acknowledged the proximity to an agreement without offering further details. An unidentified senior government source, quoted by Israel’s Channel 12 television, simply stated, “they are close.”

The recent hostage situation, where Hamas took approximately 240 hostages during its October 7 rampage into Israel resulting in the loss of 1,200 lives, has intensified diplomatic efforts. Qatari mediators have been working towards a deal, with reports suggesting that Hamas could release 50 hostages in exchange for Israel freeing some prisoners and a three-day ceasefire.

Mirjana Spoljaric, the president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), met with Haniyeh in Qatar to address humanitarian issues related to the conflict. While the ICRC clarified it is not directly involved in negotiations regarding the hostages, it expressed readiness to facilitate any future releases agreed upon by the parties involved.

Talks of an imminent hostage deal have been circulating for days, and various statements from officials hint at progress. Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Herzog expressed hope for an agreement “in the coming days,” while Qatar’s Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman al-Thani mentioned that the remaining sticking points were “very minor.” U.S. President Joe Biden and other officials also indicated on Monday that a deal was nearing completion.

The deadly events of October 7, described as the deadliest day in Israel’s 75-year history, prompted Israel to invade Gaza with the aim of dismantling the militant group that has ruled the region since 2007. Since then, Gaza has witnessed substantial casualties and extensive destruction, with tens of thousands of civilians displaced.

As the situation unfolds, the potential truce agreement offers a glimmer of hope for a temporary cessation of hostilities, allowing for humanitarian aid delivery and, crucially, the release of hostages. The international community closely monitors these developments, anticipating a diplomatic resolution to ease tensions in the region.

For more updates stay tuned to FELA News!

Source: The Indian Express

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