Key Israeli decision-making bodies to discuss 'issue of release of captives'

AP , AFP , Tuesday 21 Nov 2023

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office has announced meetings of three key decision-making bodies late Tuesday to discuss “the issue of the release of captives.”

Benjamin Netanyahu
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. AP


A statement released by Netanyahu’s office said the special war Cabinet will convene at 6 p.m. (1600 GMT), followed by meetings of the broader Security Cabinet and then the full Cabinet.

It gave no further details, but the various bodies are required to approve important government decisions.

The meetings come as Hamas officials say a deal could be reached soon on a ceasefire and swap of Palestinian prisoners for captives held by the group in Gaza.

“On the return of the captives, we are making progress," Netanyahu said in a meeting with Israeli soldiers. 

"I don’t think it’s worth saying too much, not even at this moment, but I hope there will be good news soon.”

Earlier on Tuesday, a statement sent by Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh's office to AFP said, "We are close to reaching a deal on a truce." 

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.

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. 

* This story was edited by Ahram Online.

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