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Hamas dismisses latest Israeli hostage deal proposal

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Hamas said on Tuesday that the latest Israeli proposal in hostage deal negotiations did not meet any of its demands, after senior Israeli officials said progress had been made in the long-running negotiations.

The proposal was submitted to Hamas over the weekend during the latest round of negotiations mediated by Egypt, Qatar and the United States on a deal that would release the remaining hostages held by Hamas in Gaza in exchange for a truce and the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners. Israeli prisons.

“The (Israeli) position remains stubborn and has not responded to any of the demands of our people and our resistance,” Hamas said in a statement released Tuesday.

“Despite this, the leadership of the movement is studying the proposal submitted with full national responsibility and will inform the mediators of its response once it is completed.”

People familiar with the matter said that while progress has been made in recent talks, major sticking points remain, with Israel rejecting Hamas’ demands that any deal ultimately result in a permanent ceasefire and that civilians be allowed to return freely to the north of the country. Gaza.

An Israeli official said Israel was not prepared to allow anyone linked to Hamas to return to the northern enclave.

Israel had previously offered to allow 60,000 Gazans to return to the north, but the official said Israel was willing to be “more flexible if it sees some flexibility from the other side.” Anyone returning will have to undergo a security check, the official added.

The Hamas statement followed upbeat comments from Israeli officials, with Foreign Minister Israel Katz and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant saying progress had been made during the latest negotiations in Cairo.

Katz said Monday that “if things work out, a lot of the hostages will return home and, in stages, everyone else.” He also said he was “more optimistic than me, but we cannot promise anything against Hamas”.

Gallant said Israel had a chance to return the hostages, but that would require “difficult decisions.”

Hamas captured around 250 hostages in the October 7 attack that sparked the Gaza war. About 110 of them were released in a deal brokered by Qatar in exchange for about 240 Palestinian prisoners during a brief truce last year.

Since then, mediators have been trying to negotiate a new deal that would guarantee the release of the remaining 133 hostages – some of whom Israel believes to be dead – still held in Gaza.

The latest negotiations focused on a multi-phase agreement, the first part of which would involve the release of around 40 hostages in exchange for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners as well as a six-week ceasefire.

Israel’s war cabinet and security cabinet were expected to discuss hostage negotiations in meetings on Tuesday.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that he had been informed of the talks in Cairo and that Israel was working to repatriate the hostages.

But he also insisted that Israel would carry out an attack on Rafah, the southern Gaza town where more than a million people are sheltering after fleeing fighting elsewhere in the strip. Netanyahu said a date had been set for the operation, but he gave no further details.

News Source : www.ft.com
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jack colman

With a penchant for words, jack began writing at an early age. As editor-in-chief of his high school newspaper, he honed his skills telling impactful stories. Smith went on to study journalism at Columbia University, where he graduated top of his class.After interning at the New York Times, jack landed a role as a news writer. Over the past decade, he has covered major events like presidential elections and natural disasters. His ability to craft compelling narratives that capture the human experience has earned him acclaim.Though writing is his passion, jack also enjoys hiking, cooking and reading historical fiction in his free time. With an eye for detail and knack for storytelling, he continues making his mark at the forefront of journalism.
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