An agreement between Israel and Hamas on a temporary ceasefire and hostage release is approaching. The broad outlines of the Qatar-brokered agreement are now known. This is what we know so far:
• The agreements, according to Hamas spokesman Izzat al-Rishq, relate to a ceasefire “for a number of days” and are linked to emergency aid to Gaza and the release of women and children from both sides.
• According to Israeli media, Hamas initially wants to release fifty hostages, and then, if the ceasefire is extended, it will release fifty more. Hamas will certainly be alone intended Release civilian hostages, not Israeli soldiers. Israel says Hamas has been holding about 240 hostages since October 7, including children and soldiers.
• In return, Hamas demands the release of an unknown number of Palestinian women and children detained in Israel.
• The duration of the ceasefire is said to be one of the most important issues in the negotiations. Hamas is said to have requested a five-day ceasefire, while Israel is prepared to lay down its arms for three days.
• Another point that Israel may object to is Hamas’s demand that Israel stop all its activities in the skies of Gaza during the ceasefire – including fighter jets and reconnaissance drones. According to Al Jazeera, Israel will not want to give up surveillance because of the safety of its soldiers in Gaza. Israel has been monitoring Gaza from the air with drones since long before the current escalation of the conflict.
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