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Hamas presents ceasefire proposal for release of female hostages and date for permanent ceasefire

Netanyahu says Hamas continues with unrealistic demands’

Israeli women who were released from Hamas captivity hold a press conference in Tel Aviv, Feb. 7, 2024. (Photo: Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

According to a report from Reuters, the Hamas terror organization has presented a ceasefire proposal to mediators, including the release of Israeli women, children, elderly, and sick hostages in the first stage, in exchange for the release of 700-1,000 Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails.

The prisoner release would include 100 Palestinian prisoners serving life sentences for terror crimes, as well as the release of Israeli “female recruits.” 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said the latest Hamas stance was based on "unrealistic demands." 

“Hamas is continuing to hold to unrealistic demands,” read the statement from PMO, adding that Netanyahu would discuss an update on the situation at Friday's cabinet meeting.

According to the Hamas ceasefire proposal, Israel and Hamas leaders would agree on a date for a permanent ceasefire after the initial exchange of hostages and prisoners. 

Hamas says a deadline for an Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip would be agreed upon after the initial stage.

In the second stage of the proposal, all detainees from both sides would be released, according to Hamas. 

It is unclear if the terror group expects all Palestinian political or terror prisoners to be included in the term detainees, which was a previous Hamas demand that Israel immediately rejected. 

On Thursday evening, Hamas said it had presented a comprehensive vision for a truce based on stopping “Israeli aggression” against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, as well as providing humanitarian aid, the return of displaced Gazans to their homes, and the complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Strip.

Egypt and Qatar have worked to overcome differences between Israel and Hamas regarding the ceasefire and the hostage exchange. The United States had hoped to achieve the ceasefire deal before the holy Muslim month of Ramadan, which began on Sunday evening, March 10.

There has been increasing international pressure on Israel to agree to a ceasefire, as concerns of a looming humanitarian crisis continue to grow, which allegedly could see one-quarter of the population without adequate food.

Recent attempts at a ceasefire with a hostage release deal have been unsuccessful, with both Israel and Hamas accusing each other of unreasonable demands. 

On Thursday, Netanyahu said there was international pressure on Israel not to enter Rafah. However, he affirmed Israel is committed to destroying Hamas’ battalions in the town, as the IDF reports it is the last major Hamas stronghold in the Gaza Strip,

While Western nations have been pressuring Israel for a ceasefire Iranian proxy groups in the Middle East, such as Hezbollah in Lebanon, pro-Iran militias in Iraq and Syria, and the Houthis in Yemen have continued their aggressions against Israel, the United States and their allies. 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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