Hamas said on Sunday it is ready to negotiate the release of hostages still held in the Gaza Strip in the absence of a permanent ceasefire in the Palestinian territory.where nine months have passed since the start of the war with Israel.

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For several months, the mediating countries – Qatar, the United States and Egypt – have been faced with the incompatible demands of Israel and the Palestinian Islamist movement, which sparked the war when it attacked southern Israel on October 7.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the conflict will continue until “the end of the war.”the destruction of Hamas and the release of all hostages” in its hands.

Hamas had demanded that Israel agree to a full and permanent ceasefire before negotiations could begin, but “this point has been surpassed,” a senior Hamas official told AFP on Sunday, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The mediators have “committed that, as long as negotiations are ongoing,” which have not yet begun, a “ceasefire will remain in force”“, he added.

Israel will send a delegation to Doha in the coming days for talks with Qatari mediators, but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said gaps remained in reaching an agreement with Hamas, which has ruled Gaza since 2007.

Diplomats from the three mediating countries are also holding talks in Egypt, reported Al Qahera News, a media outlet close to the Egyptian intelligence services.

Meanwhile, fighting continues in the devastated Palestinian territory, which was the target of new Israeli attacks on Sunday.

New evacuation orders

The conflict erupted on October 7, when Islamist commandos killed 1,195 people, mostly civilians, and kidnapped 251 in southern Israel, according to an AFP count based on official Israeli data.

The Israeli army estimates that 116 people remain captive in Gaza, 42 of whom are believed to have died.

In response, Israel launched an offensive in the Palestinian territory that has killed 38,153 people, most of them civilians, according to the Gaza Ministry of Health.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society reported on Sunday that six people were killed in an Israeli bombardment of a house in Zawaida, in the central Gaza Strip.

In the north of the territory, another nine people were killed in attacks on buildings in Gaza City, according to the Civil Defense.

Israeli troops are continuing to fight in several areas the army had previously claimed to control, including the Shujaiya neighbourhood in Gaza City and Rafah in the far south.

In Gaza City, the Israeli army on Sunday issued new evacuation orders for residents and displaced people in three neighborhoods, asking them to head west, closer to the coast.

Hamas said Sunday that four people were killed in an Israeli airstrike on a school housing displaced people in the same town, a day after 16 people were killed in an Israeli airstrike on a UN-run school in the centre of the territory.

The Israeli military said it targeted “terrorist” targets.

The UN has warned of the “disastrous” conditions in which the 2.4 million inhabitants of the Strip are living, without water or food due to the Israeli siege. In addition, 80% of the population has been displaced by the conflict.

Three stages

So far, international mediators have only succeeded in getting the two sides to reach a truce at the end of November, which allowed the release of 80 hostages in exchange for 240 Palestinians held in Israel.

According to the senior Hamas official who spoke to AFP on Sunday, the Islamist movement has informed the mediators that it wants three stages to be completed.

First, the entry of 400 trucks of aid into Gaza per day, then the withdrawal of the Israeli army from the “Philadelphia corridor and the Rafah border crossing” between southern Gaza and Egypt, and then a “final phase” consisting of a complete withdrawal from Palestinian territory.

“The ball is in the Israelis’ court”the source said, estimating that the talks could last “two to three weeks” “if Israel does not block the negotiations as it has done previously.”

Netanyahu’s office said Sunday that “any agreement will allow Israel to return and fight until all the war aims are achieved.”

The war in Gaza is also fuelling international concern about the risk of the conflict spreading to Israel’s northern border, where artillery duels between the Lebanese army and Hamas’s ally Hezbollah are a daily occurrence.

Hezbollah said Sunday it fired a volley of rockets at four military targets in northern Israel, most notably a strategic reconnaissance center on Mount Hermon in the Israeli-occupied Syrian Golan.

Is about “the most important operation carried out by its air forces” since October 8, according to the movement.

The Israeli army said in a statement that it had “intercepted” several “aerial targets,” including “an explosive drone that fell in an unobstructed area in the Mount Hermon region,” causing no injuries.

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Source: https://www.noticiascaracol.com/mundo/hamas-cede-en-exigencia-clave-para-negociar-una-tregua-en-gaza-tras-nueve-meses-de-guerra-cb20

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