May 21, 2024

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Hamas makes a counteroffer to Israel

Hamas makes a counteroffer to Israel

The Palestinian Islamic movement Hamas submitted to the mediators in the indirect negotiations with Israel a counter-proposal to reach an agreement to declare a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and release Israeli hostages in exchange for the release of Palestinian prisoners. The newspaper reported on Sunday in its digital edition Haaretz.

The Israeli newspaper, citing Palestinian and Arab sources, said it expected the hostages and prisoners to be released after a 42-day ceasefire.

Hamas reportedly rejected the US proposal, which would have included the release of 40 hostages and 900 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for a six-week ceasefire.

According to Haaretz, Hamas is counter-proposing that the Israeli army stop its operations in the first phase for a period of six weeks and withdraw from urban centers. He also wants to see the return of the displaced to the northern Gaza Strip. During this period, the Palestinian Islamic Movement will search for the hostages and verify their condition.

In the second stage, the Israeli army will withdraw from the entire Gaza Strip, and only then will the exchange of hostages for prisoners begin. For every Israeli civilian, 30 Palestinian prisoners should be released, and for every army member 50, including about 30 serving life sentences, according to the proposal.

The dead hostages – civilian and military – will be handed over to the Israeli authorities in the third and final stage, after the siege on the Gaza Strip is lifted and reconstruction begins, and always based on a counter-proposal from Hamas.

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Israeli authorities estimate that just under a hundred hostages are being held alive in the Palestinian Strip, while at least 34 others have died.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is under intense pressure from members of his far-right government not to make what they say are too many concessions to Hamas and launch a large-scale ground attack in Rafah, despite international pressure to cancel the operation. The Israeli government intends to continue the war after the end of the possible truce to “eliminate” the Hamas movement, which has controlled the Gaza Strip since 2007.

Source: AMPE