Israel-Hamas, hypothetical truce in exchange for hostages but the agreement is still vague

Negotiations involving the United States, Israel, Qatar and Hamas to reach the agreement continue actively

An agreement to secure the release of a large number of hostages held by Hamas in Gaza still appears vague, although negotiations involving the United States, Israel, Qatar and Hamas continue actively.

Egypt also announced yesterday that it is close to closing an agreement for a humanitarian truce in Gaza on the basis of an exchange that involves the release of Israeli hostages in exchange for Palestinian detainees.

But there is no prospect of Israel accepting a prolonged pause in fighting without releasing a substantial number of hostages, a US official told CNN.

The position of Israel and Hamas

And after all, it was Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu himself who reiterated yesterday that “there will be no ceasefire without the release of our hostages”.

On the opposite front too Hamas continue to keep track. “We reiterate that thethe only way” for the release of the hostages “is a global agreement for the total or partial exchange of prisoners”said Abu Obeida, spokesman for the al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas.

15 hostages for a two-day truce

Talks so far have produced many ideas, including the release of around 10 to 15 hostages in exchange for a one- or two-day ceasefire, diplomatic sources said, but said no such proposal was yet on the table. An Israeli official said Tel Aviv was “ready to pause” if there was certainty that Hamas “is serious about releasing the hostages.”

What is unclear is how long of a pause Israel would be willing to accept and what an acceptable number of hostages released would be.