A delegation from the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Cairo to discuss a possible ceasefire, calls for the release of several high-profile Palestinian prisonersboth his and the Palestinian movement Fatah, sources familiar with the talks said.
According to the informants, who wished to remain anonymous, The Hamas delegation, led by the head of its political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, forwarded this demand to the head of Egyptian intelligence, Abbas Kamel. as one of the conditions for approving the ceasefire proposal.
According to sources, the Islamist movement has not yet given a response to Qatar’s proposed agreement for a new ceasefire and hostage exchange for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons.
They noted that Hamas is demanding the release of Marwan Barghouti, a senior Palestinian Fatah leader who was jailed for attacks on Israelis; as well as the outstanding leader Ahmed Saadatformer secretary general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and Israel jailed after being accused of plotting the assassination of Israeli Tourism Minister Rehevam Zeevi in 2001.
Additionally, The Islamist movement is also calling for the release of high-ranking officials from Hamas and its military wing. like Abdalá al Barghouti, Hasan Salama, Abas al Sayed or Ibrahim Hamed.
According to the sources, Hamas’s “insistence” on the release of Palestinian leaders signaled that the Islamist group “is already thinking about the day after the war and its relations with the Fatah movement and other Palestinian factions.”
Pending Hamas’s response, a roughly 45-day ceasefire proposal is on the table that would include a hostage exchange in the Gaza Strip in exchange for the release of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons, which would take place in three phases.
The proposed agreement provides for the exchange of hostages for prisoners in several stages According to the sources, the first phase would involve the release of 35 civilian prisoners held by Hamas in return for a complete cessation of Israeli operations for 45 days.
Release 100 Palestinian prisoners for every hostage released by Hamas
Aside from that, involves the release of about 100 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for every hostage released by HamasIn addition, increasing humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip is also being considered.
The second phase would see the release of the female and male soldiers, while the final phase would include the transfer of the bodies of the hostages who died during their captivity in the Palestinian enclave, according to the sources.
Israel and Hamas reached a single week-long ceasefire agreement between November 24 and 30 that ended the fighting and allowed the exchange of 105 hostages, some of them foreigners, in exchange for the release of 240 Palestinian prisoners; something that has not been repeated since.
The Israeli government is unwilling to end the war, despite growing pressure from the families of the abductees to negotiate at any cost an agreement to release the 132 hostages remaining in the Gaza Strip, about 28 of whom are believed to be dead.