Hamas says Gaza truce deal 'close'

AFP , Tuesday 21 Nov 2023

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said Tuesday a truce agreement with Israel was in sight.

Medics transporting a premature Palestinian baby evacuated from Gaza into an Air Ambulance at Egypt
Medics transporting a premature Palestinian baby evacuated from Gaza into an Air Ambulance at Egypt s al-Arish Airport, heading to the New Capital Hospital in Cairo. AFP

 

There was no immediate response from Israel on the status of negotiation efforts to secure the release of some of the 240 captives captured by Hamas on 7 October.

"We are close to reaching a deal on a truce," Haniyeh said, according to a statement sent by his office to AFP.

According to the Palestinian health ministry, the Israeli war has killed more than 13,300 people, 5,600 of them children, 3,500 are women, alongside 31,000 wounded. 

Speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity, sources from Hamas and Islamic Jihad -- which also participated in the Al-Aqsa Flood operation on 7 October -- confirmed that their groups had agreed to the terms of a truce deal.

The tentative deal includes a five-day truce, comprised of a ceasefire on the ground and limits to Israeli air operations over southern Gaza.

Under the agreement, between 50 and 100 Israeli civilian and foreign captives would be released, but no military personnel.

In exchange, some 300 Palestinians would be released from Israeli jails, among them women and children.

On Monday, US President Joe Biden had said he believed a deal was close, as hopes grew for talks brokered by Qatar, where Hamas has a political office and which has behind-the-scenes diplomatic links with Israel.

The International Committee of the Red Cross said Monday that its president had traveled to Qatar to meet Hamas's Haniyeh.

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