Israel Accepts US Hostage Exchange Compromise, Hamas Awaits Response

Israeli media reported Saturday night that the Israeli delegation in Qatar had agreed to a U.S. compromise on the number of Palestinian prisoners awaiting a response from Hamas, exchanged for every Israeli hostage.

According to reports, there were major disagreements about the number at first, prompting a US compromise proposal.

According to N12, the Israeli delegation in Qatar is authorized to discuss the return of Palestinians to northern Gaza, and he said it may take days for Hamas to respond due to the logistics of getting approval from Hamas leadership in Gaza.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken agreed Friday that Mossad chief David Barnia traveled to Qatar to meet with CIA Director William Burns, Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed al-Thani and Egyptian Intelligence Minister Abbas Kamal to discuss the hostage deal. “There's still a lot of hard work to do to get there.”

Senior Hamas officials such as Ismail Haniyeh also attended the talks in Qatar, N12 reported.

People hold banners during a demonstration demanding the immediate release of hostages in Gaza captured from southern Israel on October 7 during a deadly attack by Palestinian Islamist group Hamas gunmen in a square in Tel Aviv, Israel, on November 11, 2023. (Credit: REUTERS/AMMAR AWAD)

Qatar-based news network Al-Jazeera It issued a separate statement on Saturday outlining some of the conditions agreed upon during the reconciliation.

Israel agreed to allow 2,000 Gazans to return north of the Gaza Strip two weeks after the deal was signed, the report said. The statement said Israel rejected Hamas's demand for the release of 30 prisoners for every female soldier and resisted the offer to release five prisoners for every female soldier.

In addition, AAl-Jazeera Israel has reportedly requested the release of the bodies of Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul.

Importantly, no Israeli official has confirmed any of the claims made in this report.

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“The current Israeli team [in Doha] There is power to reach an agreement,” Blinken told Al Arabiya English in a video interview on Thursday.

Blinken urged Israel's cabinet on Friday after Hamas said that “even after the actions in Rafah, the challenge of Hamas will remain, and if there is no alternative leadership, anarchy and chaos will breed it again.” Channel 13's Moriah Ashraf Wahlberg reports.

In Washington on Friday, US national security communications adviser John Kirby said he believed the two sides were nearing an agreement.

That the discussions are still happening — and at the pace they are and with participation on all sides — is a good sign, Kirby said.

“Nothing is negotiated until everything is negotiated, but we are, but the gaps are narrowing and we believe we are getting closer,” Kirby said.

Hostage and Missing Families Forum holds rally for Gaza hostages

The Hostage and Disappeared Families Forum held a “No Return Without a Deal” rally at Hostage Square on Saturday night.

“For Purim this year, there is no greater mitzvah than pi'dyan shuaim (liberating prisoners),” the forum said in the call to the rally. The rally featured a reading from Esther and several speakers, including family members of the hostages.

Protest groups said thousands protested in front of the Kriya military headquarters on Saturday night, calling for a hostage deal and reading the names of the hostages. Hundreds gathered in Jerusalem, with protesters carrying banners reading “Treaty or Death”.

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