Truce Agreement between Hamas and Israel Imminent
In the midst of ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian group Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, the chief of Hamas, has stated that the militant group is close to reaching a truce agreement with Israel. Hamas officials have already delivered their response to Qatari mediators. While no specific details were given, negotiations are said to be focused on the duration of the truce, the delivery of aid into Gaza, and the exchange of Israeli hostages held by Hamas for Palestinian prisoners in Israel. Both sides have agreed to release women and children. The announcement of the truce terms is expected to be made by Qatar, which is mediating the negotiations.
Read more: Reuters
Efforts to Release Hostages in Progress
Throughout the negotiations, Qatari mediators have been working towards securing the release of hostages held by Hamas. It has been reported that Hamas took approximately 240 hostages during a rampage into Israel on October 7, resulting in the deaths of 1,200 people. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has also been involved in the process, with its president, Mirjana Spoljaric, meeting with Ismail Haniyeh in Qatar to address humanitarian issues related to the conflict. While the ICRC is not directly involved in the hostage negotiations, it has expressed its willingness to facilitate any future releases agreed upon by both parties.
Read more: Geneva-based ICRC
Optimism Surrounding Hostage Deal
Talks of an imminent hostage deal have been circulating for days, with reports suggesting that Hamas may release 50 hostages in exchange for the release of some prisoners by Israel and a three-day ceasefire. While no official confirmation has been made, Israeli Ambassador to the United States, Michael Herzog, expressed hope for an agreement in the coming days. Qatar’s Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman al-Thani also stated that the remaining points of disagreement are minor. U.S. President Joe Biden and other U.S. officials have also expressed their belief that a deal is near.
Read more: ABC News
Devastation in Gaza Continues
As the conflict persists, Gaza has experienced significant devastation. According to Gaza’s Hamas-run government, over 13,300 Palestinians, including 5,600 children, have been killed by Israeli bombardment. The northern half of Gaza has been particularly affected, resulting in the displacement of two-thirds of the enclave’s population. Thousands of people continue to flee to the central and southern parts of Gaza, despite these areas also being targeted by Israeli attacks. The situation has left many homeless, with limited access to medical care and other essential services.
Nuseirat Refugee Camp Targeted
Gaza health authorities have reported that at least 20 Palestinians were killed in an Israeli bombing of the Nuseirat refugee camp in central Gaza. Situated just south of the wetlands, the Nuseirat district has been a major arrival point for those fleeing the fighting. Tens of thousands of civilians are believed to still be in the northern part of Gaza, despite orders to evacuate. Hospitals in the region have ceased functioning normally, with some still providing shelter for patients and displaced individuals. The Israeli government has accused Hamas of using hospitals as shields, a claim that both Hamas and the hospitals deny.
Read more: Health officials
Read More of this Story at www.reuters.com – 2023-11-21 08:55:00
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