May 28, 2024

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Washington Post: Israel and Hamas are close to agreeing on a five-day ceasefire and the release of the hostages

Washington Post: Israel and Hamas are close to agreeing on a five-day ceasefire and the release of the hostages

according to Washington After that, Israel and Hamas come very close to agreeing on a five-day ceasefire – not a truce or ceasefire – and the release of the women and children hostage. The agreement as described seems like a good first step.

A five-day ceasefire, monitored by aerial surveillance, could lead to the release of dozens of women and children from captivity in Gaza, according to people familiar with the terms of the deal.

Break for all participants

Israel, the United States and Hamas have agreed to a temporary agreement under which dozens of women and children held hostage in Gaza will be released in exchange for a five-day ceasefire and massive humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip.

Terms of agreement

The prisoner release, which could begin within the next few days — unless there are last-minute problems — could lead to the first permanent ceasefire in Gaza, according to people familiar with its provisions.

Under the terms of the detailed six-page agreement, all parties to the conflict will freeze hostilities for at least five days, and release 50 or more hostages in smaller batches every 24 hours.

It was not immediately clear how many of the 239 people believed to be detained in Gaza would be released under the agreement. Air traffic control will monitor movements on the ground to control the stopping process.

The cessation of fighting is also intended to allow a significant increase in humanitarian aid, including fuel, to enter the besieged enclave from Egypt.

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It appears that international pressure has paid off

The broad outlines of the agreement were drawn up during weeks of talks in Doha, Qatar between Israel, the United States and Hamas, which were indirectly mediated by Qatari mediators, according to Arab diplomats and others.

But it is still unclear yet whether Israel would agree to temporarily halt its attack on Gaza if conditions were right.

Concern over the prisoners – two of whom Israel says have been found dead – coupled with mounting Palestinian civilian casualties, has steadily increased pressure on the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. More than 100 countries have called for a complete and immediate ceasefire.

A person with a clear picture of the discussions – on condition of anonymity – said that the decision to accept the agreement is difficult for Israel.

While there is strong internal pressure on Netanyahu to return the hostages to their homeland, there are also loud voices in Israel calling on the government not to bargain for their release.

US officials said they believed the pause would allow Hamas to collect hostages and that arrangements could be made to escort them safely across the battlefield. It was not clear whether Americans or other foreigners would be included in the initial tranche of liberation. The hope is that if the women and children are successfully released, other groups of captives will follow.