“We are close to reaching a truce agreement,” the leader of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, on his organization’s Telegram channel. Haniye did not give further details, but a senior Hamas official, Izzat el Reshiq, told Al Jazeera broadcaster that the negotiations focused on How long would the ceasefire last? in order to increase the humanitarian aid that enters the Gaza Strip and secure an exchange of Hamas hostages for Palestinian prisoners held captive in Israel.
Two sources familiar with the truce talks – mediated by Qatar, Egypt and the United States – revealed to the AFP agency that the agreement includes a five-day truce, with a ceasefire in lands and limited operations in the south of Gaza. Between 50 and 100 hostages will be released Hamas, all Israeli women and children and captives of other nationalities. Military hostages are outside the agreement, according to sources. The Palestinian organization holds 237 people captive, including nationals from more than 40 countries.
The Israeli government claims that 33 of them are minors. The pact also includes the release of an unknown number of women and children prisoners in Israeli jails. According to data from the Palestinian Wafa agency, before October 7 there were 5,200 Palestinians in Israeli prisons. Following the Hamas attack, the Israeli army has arrested 2,960 Palestinians in daily raids in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. At least 200 prisoners are minors.
Over the past weekend, Israel confirmed “progress in negotiations” to free the captives, while Qatari Prime Minister Abdulrahman Al Thani noted that “minor” details remain to close the agreement.
Representatives of humanitarian organizations working on the ground met with US national security adviser Jake Sullivan on Monday to discuss ways to increase the entry of humanitarian aid to the enclave. Humanitarian organizations stressed that only a ceasefire can alleviate the situation, after a month and a half of blocking the entry of fuel, food and medical supplies.