Hamas on Monday appeared to have canceled an agreement that would have released Israeli hostages in exchange for a four-month ceasefire, aiming to buy time to come up with a plan to end the war, a new report said.
Senior officials from the Palestinian movement appeared to bolster the peace proposal negotiated in Paris over the weekend by saying they wanted a “full and comprehensive ceasefire” before agreeing on anything else, the newspaper reported. The Times of Israel.
This position came just one day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office described the recent talks between international mediators and terrorists as “constructive.”
Representatives from the United States — including CIA Director William Burns — Israel, and Egypt met over the weekend with the prime minister of Qatar to discuss the latest peace proposals, which called for a four-month ceasefire. The Wall Street Journal said.
During the first six weeks of the ceasefire, women and children held hostage as well as the elderly by Hamas were to be released in exchange for Israel releasing Palestinian prisoners and allowing aid into Gaza, according to the newspaper.
Female members of the Israeli army detained by Hamas will then be released, followed by male soldiers, and finally human remains.
The newspaper reported that the agreement included guarantees to Hamas that the United States and other international leaders would reach an agreement within the four months to end the war.
In the weeks since Hamas killed 1,200 people and took 240 hostage in its attack on Israel on October 7, leaders in the Jewish state have vowed not to stop until the terror group is completely eliminated.
Israeli officials told the newspaper that the country is “fully committed to the release of all hostages and the destruction of Hamas” and will continue to “do everything in its power to ensure the release of all hostages.”
The current plan was the latest in a round of ceasefires and peace proposals proposed since the conflict began.
Just last week, talks on a month-long ceasefire in exchange for hostage and prisoner exchanges collapsed after Hamas refused to move forward with negotiations unless Israeli forces first completely withdraw from Gaza, where the Hamas-run health ministry says 25,000 people have been killed.
Days before that, Hamas said that “there is no chance for the prisoners to return” after the two sides reached another impasse.
A week-long ceasefire was successfully reached in November, resulting in the release of more than 100 Israeli hostages and 240 Palestinian prisoners before hostilities resumed.
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