Israel agrees to U.S. proposal on prisoner exchange with Hamas

Last October, Hamas launched a large-scale rocket attack against Israel from the Gaza Strip and breached the border, killing 1,200 people and abducting around 240 others.

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Israel , agrees to U.S. proposal, prisoner exchange with HamasIsrael has agreed to the terms proposed by the United States for the exchange of Palestinian prisoners for Israeli hostages held by Palestinian movement Hamas in the Gaza Strip and is awaiting a response from the movement on this matter, CNN reported, citing a source.

The report indicated that the proposal was presented by CIA Director Bill Burns, and that it involves the release by Israel, of about 700 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the release of 40 Israeli hostages by Hamas.

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However, agreements were still not reached on other issues, including the delivery of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip and the deployment of the Israeli military in the enclave, the report read.

On Sunday, Israeli reporter for the Axios news portal Barak Ravid wrote on X, citing unnamed Israeli officials, that the U.S. proposal involves the release of 100 Palestinians serving life sentences for killing Israelis, fewer than what was proposed by Qatari mediators three weeks ago.

Israel rejected the Qatari proposal because Hamas had failed to respond to the one put forward during the Paris talks, which included the release of 400 prisoners, among them 25 serving life sentences, Ravid wrote.

Israel is also willing to discuss the U.S. “bridging proposal” on the return of Palestinian civilians to the northern Gaza Strip, which the journalist described as “one of the main points of contention in the talks.”

Last October, Hamas launched a large-scale rocket attack against Israel from the Gaza Strip and breached the border, killing 1,200 people and abducting around 240 others.

Israel launched retaliatory strikes, ordered a complete blockade of Gaza, and started a ground incursion into the Palestinian enclave with the declared goal of eliminating Hamas fighters and rescuing the hostages.

Over 32,200 people have been killed so far in the Gaza Strip, local authorities said.

 

CNN has reached out to Israeli officials and Hamas on the status of the talks.

Israel agreed to the proposal put forth by CIA Director Bill Burns, according to Ravid. Burns was in Doha, where Hamas and Israel are engaged in talks through mediators.

Hamas’ response could take one to three days, according to Ravid, who said he has spoken to Israeli officials.

“Those details need to go from Hamas representatives in Doha, who are negotiating, to the person who really calls the shots, and this is Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar in Gaza, who is in a bunker some 100 feet under the ground, so this takes a long time,” Ravid told Omar Jimenez on “CNN Newsroom” on Sunday.

Ravid said the proposed exchange will “definitely include some” American hostages, because it will include the release of men over age 50.

Hamas’ latest proposal this month demanded that some 700 to 1,000 Palestinian prisoners be released. Israel at the time described the demands as “ridiculous” and “absurd.”

An agreement, if it happens, is expected to have multiple phases. In the first stage, Hamas has proposed releasing the hostages who are women – including Israeli soldiers – elderly, sick and wounded. That number is believed to be roughly 40 out of the around 100 hostages who remain alive.

 

(Sputnik/NAN/CNN)