O The apparent compromise by the Islamist group – which controlled Gaza before triggering the war with an attack on Israel on October 7, 2023 – could help bring the first pause in fighting since last November and pave the way for new talks on ending the war, but all sides have warned that a deal is not yet guaranteed.

In statements cited on condition of anonymity by The Associated Press, the two officials said Washington’s phased deal would first include a “total and complete” six-week cease-fire that would allow the release of a number of hostages, including women, the elderly and the wounded, in exchange for the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners.

During that period, Israeli forces would also withdraw from densely populated areas of Gaza and allow displaced people to return to their homes in the northern Gaza Strip, the sources said.

Over the course of those six weeks, Hamas, Israel and the mediators would also negotiate the terms of the second phase, which could lead to the release of the remaining male hostages, both civilians and soldiers. In return, Israel would release other Palestinian prisoners and detainees.

In a third phase, according to the two sources, the remaining hostages would be released, including the bodies of dead prisoners, and a year-long reconstruction project would begin.

Hamas still wants “written assurances” from mediators that Israel will continue to negotiate a permanent ceasefire deal once the first phase takes effect, the two officials said.

The Hamas official told The Associated Press that the group’s approval came after it received “verbal commitments and assurances” from mediators that the war would not resume and that negotiations would continue until a permanent cease-fire was reached. “Now we want those assurances on paper,” he said.

Months of cease-fire talks have been hampered by Hamas’s demand that any agreement include a complete end to the war. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has offered to pause the fighting but not end it completely until Israel achieves its goals of destroying Hamas’s military and governance capabilities and returning all hostages held by the group.

Netanyahu’s office did not respond to requests for comment and there was no immediate reaction from Washington.

Today’s news comes as fighting and Israeli airstrikes in Gaza continue unabated.

In the central city of Deir al-Balah, funeral prayers were held for 12 Palestinians, including five children and two women, killed in three separate attacks in central Gaza on Friday and today, according to hospital officials.

Israel launched the war in Gaza after Hamas’ October assault, in which the militants swept into southern Israel, killing about 1,200 people – mostly civilians – and kidnapping about 250.

Since then, the Israeli air and ground offensive has killed more than 38,000 people in Gaza, according to the territory’s Health Ministry, which does not distinguish between fighters and civilians in its count. The offensive has caused widespread devastation and triggered a humanitarian crisis that has left hundreds of thousands of people on the brink of famine, according to international authorities.

Read Also: Hamas meets with Palestinian resistance to discuss ceasefire

Source: https://www.noticiasaominuto.com/mundo/2593744/hamas-tera-dado-aval-a-cessar-fogo-faseado-em-gaza

Leave a Reply