Hamas hostages, the draft agreement: 3 Palestinian prisoners for every civilian released

The fundamental points discussed in Paris, but the negotiations are still in the initial phase. Israel raids in Syria and Lebanon. In Gaza “close to 27 thousand victims”. Three IDF soldiers dead in the Strip, 15 arrested in the West Bank

The release of all civilians held by Hamas in Gaza during an initial six-week ceasefire. The release of three Palestinian prisoners – and not 100-250 as reported by various media in recent days – for every Israeli hostage that will be released. Finally, a temporary repositioning of Israeli troops away from the most populated areas of Gaza and a significant increase in the flow of humanitarian aid into the enclave. These, according to the Washington Post, the fundamental points of the draft agreement proposed by the mediating countries namely the United States, Egypt and Qatar, accepted in principle by Israel and which Hamas is still evaluating, according to officials familiar with the negotiations.

In the two or three page document there is therefore talk of pauses following the first six-week truce, during which the Israeli soldiers and the bodies of the hostages who died in captivity would be released, in the hope of the negotiators that further extensions could lead to a permanent cessation of the fighting which have been going on for four months now. According to Israel, there are still 109 hostages in Gaza, including elderly people, children and some Americans, along with the bodies of 27 people.

There framework of the agreement, which Egypt forwarded to Hamas leaders believed to still be in the Strip, was finalized in Paris on Sunday in the presence of the head of the Mossad, David Barnea, that of the Shin Bet, Ronen Bar, the director of the CIA, William Burns, the head of Egyptian intelligence, Abbas Kamel and the prime minister of Qatar, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani. The latter, at the end of the negotiations in the French capital, flew to Washington to meet the Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, and the White House National Security Advisor, Jake Sullivan. According to a White House statement released after the talks, Sullivan “hoped that Hamas would make every effort to secure the release of the hostages without delay.”

According to officials who discussed the hostage negotiations on condition of anonymity, Negotiations are still at an early stage and any actual agreement will take time to get to the finish line, believing that the main obstacles will arise once we start talking about specific details and commitments. And “to move forward – admitted a source – many details are needed”.

Among the many issues that could derail the new proposal is that it is unclear how many Israeli soldiers are hostage in Gaza. At the current stage, Israeli troops – neither female nor male – are expected to be in the first group of hostages that Hamas would release.

Furthermore, it is not clear who would select the Palestinian prisoners to be released by Israel or by what criteria they would be chosen. During the latest lull in fighting, Hamas accused Israel of violating an agreement on the release of older prisoners, instead freeing several young people who had been arrested during recent riots in the West Bank. Israel, for its part, accused Hamas of violating the agreement by launching rockets against its territory.

Both sides, meanwhile, have already defined what they believe to be their red lines. “We will not recall the IDF from the Gaza Strip and we will not release thousands of terrorists”, clarified the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, while several exponents of the far right of the governing coalition threatened to bring down the executive in the event of a It is understood that it does not satisfy them.

Hamas has been equally inflexible. “Any agreement for us must include several points: the first is the guarantee of a complete cessation of the aggression of the Gaza Strip,” said Taher al-Nunu, a member of the political office, who called for “the withdrawal of the forces of occupation from all parts of the Gaza Strip, without any buffer zone”, and greater humanitarian aid, indicating in all this the prerequisite for serious negotiations on the release of the hostages.

Israel raids in Syria and Lebanon

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) carried out air raids during the night against Syrian army positions in the Daraa area, in the south of Syria, in response to a rocket fire against the Golan Heights. The Times of Israel reported this, specifying that the three rockets fired from Syria fell on uninhabited areas without causing damage to property or people. This morning, meanwhile, several bullets were fired from the Lebanon against the Israeli towns of Menara and Kfar Yuval, again without causing damage. The IDF, in response, fired artillery shells on southern Lebanon to prevent any new Hezbollah attacks.

Meanwhile, the IDF has announced the death of three soldiers, killed yesterday during clashes in Gaza. One of them was killed in the north of the Strip, two in the south, during a clash which also seriously injured two other soldiers. The death toll among Israeli soldiers engaged in the ground offensive in Gaza rises to 223, reports the IDF. The Times of Israel reported it.

In Gaza “toll close to 27 thousand victims”

Since the war began on October 7, Israeli forces have killed 26,900 Palestinians in Gaza and wounded 65,949, according to the latest data from the enclave’s Ministry of Health. 150 Palestinians have been killed and 313 injured in the last 24 hours.

West Bank

Today 15 Palestinians were arrested in the West Bank. The Palestinian news agency Wafa reported this, specifying that Israeli forces stopped three people in Qalqilya, three others in Nablus and four others in Bethlehem. One man was also arrested in Qalandia camp, north of East Jerusalem, and three others in other areas of Jerusalem. Israeli soldiers finally arrested one person in the village of Kharbatha Bani Harith, west of Ramallah.