Hamas appears to have declined a suggested outline for a hostage agreement with Israel, insisting that it will only consider a deal that includes the complete withdrawal of all Israeli forces from Gaza.
Israeli media and NBC News reported late Monday afternoon that Israel had agreed to a hostage deal reached between negotiators in Paris, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office issued a denial, stating, “The reports about the deal are incorrect and include conditions that are not acceptable to Israel.”
On Tuesday, Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine jointly declared that any agreement must entail both an end to the ongoing conflict and the complete withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza. The two terror groups emphasized that Israel must halt its “aggression” before considering any exchange deal.
Formulated during a meeting involving heads of the Mossad and Shin Bet intelligence agencies, as well as US, Qatari, and Egyptian officials, the proposed agreement outlines a phased process that includes the release of all the Israeli hostages, women, children, the elderly, and the sick first, to be rewarded with “Phased pauses” in Israel’s offensive against Hamas during the hostage release process.
As part of the deal, Israel was to permit increased aid into Gaza and release a substantial number of terrorist prisoners with Jewish blood on their hands.
The proposal that was rejected by Hamas et al revolved around a 45-day cessation of hostilities in return for the release of 35-40 hostages in the initial stage. Approximately 100-250 terrorist prisoners were to be set free for each hostage during this phase. Subsequent releases would be contingent on extending the ceasefire, with a higher ratio of terrorist prisoners being released in exchange for each hostage.
Qatar’s Prime Minister, Mohamed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, conveyed optimism regarding the progress of the negotiations, suggesting that Hamas may have altered its position.
Of course, they did.
As of today, Israeli sources believe that 132 hostages are still alive in Gaza. Hamas’s demands in exchange for their release are an end to the war and a complete IDF withdrawal from the Strip.