Hamas says it will release all hostages if Israel releases all Palestinian prisoners. This was stated by Osama Hamdan, a leader in the Hamas movement in Lebanon, during a press conference in Lebanon. The hostage situation represents a turning point in negotiations between Israel and Hamas regarding a possible cessation of fighting.
So far, the proposals between Hamas and Israel have not led to any results. Earlier this week, according to US media, Israel proposed a two-month cessation of fighting if Hamas released all of the more than 130 hostages from the Gaza Strip. Moreover, Israel would then be prepared to release Palestinian prisoners. Israel denied this report.
Hamas has stated several times that it will not discuss the release of the hostages unless Israel stops its attacks on Gaza. The number of Palestinian prisoners in Israel will reach about 7,000 people, according to figures from the Palestinian Human Rights Organization Addameer.
The Washington Post reported that CIA Director William Burns will negotiate a cessation of fighting and the release of the hostages with officials from Israel, Egypt and Qatar in the coming days. The United States, Egypt, and Qatar have presented themselves as mediators between Israel and Hamas.
Hamas also said it would adhere to a ceasefire if the International Court of Justice decided to do so. In the genocide case brought before the court by South Africa, an interim ruling is expected tomorrow on the question of whether Israel should stop the attack on the Gaza Strip. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has already announced that he will defy a court order to stop the fighting.
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