Sources told Al Jazeera on Friday that negotiations are progressing rapidly to achieve a ceasefire agreement and a prisoner exchange deal between Israel and the Islamic Resistance Movement (agitation) through Qatari mediation.
At the same time, the American CNN network reported from what it described as diplomatic sources familiar with the negotiations that “significant progress” had been made in the negotiations to release the Israeli detainees, but “there are still outstanding issues.”
White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby also told ABC that Washington is still working with its partners to release all detainees.
This comes after Israeli sources said that Tel Aviv informed the mediators of its willingness to “offer a price” in exchange for the release of a large number of Israeli detainees in the Gaza Strip.
Palestinian resistance factions captured approximately 250 Israelis during an operation Al-Aqsa flood Which I launched Al-Qassam Brigades The military wing of the Hamas movement on October 7, and the Israeli army said that it had informed the families of at least 229 people – both military and civilian – that their children were being detained in Gaza.
On the other hand, the Russian newspaper Kommersant quoted a Hamas leader as saying that the movement cannot release detainees before agreeing on a ceasefire in Gaza.
The leader, who is visiting Moscow as part of a Hamas delegation, said that the movement needs time to locate all the detainees who were transferred by various Palestinian factions to Gaza during the Al-Aqsa flood.
The leader stressed that calm conditions are needed to accomplish this mission.
He added that Hamas, which has released 4 female prisoners so far, has made clear since the first days of the war that it intends to release “civilian prisoners.”
Hamas said Thursday that about 50 Israeli prisoners were killed in Israeli air strikes.
Al Jazeera’s correspondent had quoted Israeli media as saying that Tel Aviv would consider the possibility of bringing fuel into the Gaza Strip, if a serious deal was offered to release a large number of detainees held by Hamas and other resistance factions.
Although Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Galant, are vowing to carry out a ground operation in the Gaza Strip, several media reports indicated the approaching conclusion of a deal between the Palestinian factions in Gaza and Israel, including a ceasefire.
Europe calls for a truce
On the other hand, French President Emmanuel Macron called today, following a European summit in Brussels, for a “humanitarian truce” in Gaza to ensure humanitarian aid reaches civilians and the release of Israeli detainees.
Macron said, in a press conference, that several European countries are looking forward to building a “humanitarian alliance,” referring to talks taking place with Cyprus and Greece in this regard. He added that Cyprus could be a base for humanitarian operations.
In his statements, the French President affirmed what he called Israel’s right to defend itself, but said that it must “target terrorists precisely without exposing civilians to danger.” He pointed out that France lost 35 of its citizens as a result of Hamas attacks.
Meanwhile, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said that the European Union Council accepted Spain’s proposal to hold a peace conference in Madrid within 6 months.
Sanchez pointed out during a press conference in Brussels that his country pushed during the European summit to demand an immediate ceasefire, but some countries opposed the proposed wording.
He added that instead, the European Union countries agreed to call for a “humanitarian truce” and open humanitarian corridors, and the Union also accepted the proposal to hold a peace conference, which includes a new effort to revive the two-state solution.
The Israeli war on Gaza has been continuing for 3 weeks, and the unprecedented bombing has left more than 7,300 martyrs, most of them women and children, in addition to about 19,000 wounded, and nearly 1.4 million of the Strip’s population of 2.2 million people have been displaced.