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Israel weighs releasing prisoners with blood on their hands in new deal with Hamas

Israeli security forces guard outside the entrance to Ofer prison, outside of Jerusalem, from where Palestinian terror convicts will be released as part of a deal between Israel and Hamas, November 26, 2023. (Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Israel is considering all options in its attempt to reach a deal with Hamas, including the release of "quality prisoners."

This was aired on Sunday on Israel's KAN 11 evening news.

Quality prisoners include the release of serious offenders, whom Israel refused to discuss in the previous deal. Israeli officials confirm that the talks are positive, but there has been no significant progress.

Officials also state that even if a deal is reached, the road ahead is long and difficult.

What took place over the weekend, the meeting between Mossad Chief David Barnea and the Qatari prime minister "was only a beginning."

Officials in Israel make it clear that should a "real deal" be reached – a few days of ceasefire, as part of the deal, would not affect the fighting in the south.

Why is it different from last time? At the time of the previous deal, most of the fighting in northern Gaza had ended, and the discussion was focused on whether to move the troops to the south.

This time, the assessment is that the fighting in Khan Younis and the south will continue for several more weeks.

Two Egyptian security sources told Reuters that Hamas and Israel are ready to renew negotiations for a ceasefire and the release of the hostages, but there is disagreement on its implementation.

Hamas insists on unilaterally deciding on the list of the hostages to be released. While Israel has agreed to let Hamas set the list, it has also requested the timetable and lists of those to be released to determine the duration of the ceasefire. Sources indicate that Israel refuses to back down from its demands.

According to a report on Saturday on KAN 11 news, Israel is considering initiating a new proposal for the release of the hostages. Officials involved in the negotiations for a humanitarian deal, with an outline similar to the previous deal (releasing all of the remaining women and children still being held captive by Hamas) said that it would be a “long and difficult” process. The Israeli War Cabinet met on Saturday night to discuss the matter. 

Barnea met with Qatari Prime Minister Al Thani on Friday night in a European capital and returned to Israel on Saturday morning.

That was the first meeting between Israeli and Qatari officials since the last ceasefire ended.

Barnea and Res. Maj-Gen. Nitzan Alon will leave for Europe later this week to hold another meeting with the Qatari prime minister.

Written by KAN 11 correspondents Suleiman Maswadeh and Amichai Stein. is the Hebrew news website of the The Israeli Public Broadcasting Corporation

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