Hamas Group Ready to Negotiate More Agreements for Hostage Releases and Truce Extension with Israel
Ghazi Hamad, a member of the Hamas Political Office, announced the group’s willingness to pursue further negotiations for the release of hostages and extend the truce with Israel in the Gaza Strip. This announcement came as the directors of the CIA and Mossad were in Qatar and the group is in talks with mediators from Egypt and Qatar to achieve a global or partial agreement.
Hamad stated that Hamas is striving to prolong the truce and is prepared to reach a comprehensive deal related to military captives in exchange for the release of all Palestinian detainees from Israeli prisons, or a partial agreement that would be subject to negotiations.
The temporary ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza has been maintained for five consecutive days, during which time there have been mutual releases of hostages and prisoners. Hamas has freed 60 Israeli hostages, while Israel has released 180 Palestinian prisoners, primarily women, children, and adolescents.
The key to the temporary ceasefire agreement has been the exchange of captives for prisoners, with the hostages leaving through the Rafah crossing with Egypt and entering Israeli territory, while the Palestinians have been released to the West Bank or Jerusalem.
Amid these developments, Qatar, Egypt, and the United States are mediating between Hamas and Israel for a potential extension of the truce. The director of the CIA, William Burns, the director of the Israeli Mossad, David Barnea, and the head of Egyptian Intelligence, Abbas Kamel, met in Qatar to explore the options for achieving a permanent ceasefire.
Israel, while positive about the proposals to extend the ceasefire, has insisted that a possible extension must include the handover of captive Israeli soldiers since the current agreement only involves the release of civilian women and children.
Despite the possibility of another extension, Israel remains prepared to continue fighting and dismantling Hamas. Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi emphasized that the Israeli military operation on Gaza will proceed, serving as a warning to Hamas.
As developments continue to unfold, the ceasefire negotiations highlight the ongoing conflict and strained relations between Hamas and Israel, with no clear end in sight to the underlying tensions.