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Israeli media says Hamas 'agrees in principle' to resume talks on prisoner swap: Report

December 30, 2023 at 10:53 am

Hamas’ military wing Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades are present as the prisoner swap between Israel and Hamas, mediated by the United States of America, Egypt and Qatar, continues in Khan Yunis, Gaza on November 29, 2023. [Mustafa Hassona – Anadolu Agency]

Media reports said Friday that Qatari mediators told Israeli officials that the Palestinian resistance group, Hamas, “agreed in principle” to resume talks on a new prisoner swap deal and a weeks-long cease-fire, Anadolu Agency reports.

The Hebrew Walla news website cited three Israeli officials who said talks centered around a proposal presented by the Israeli spy agency’s chief, David Barnea, on the release of 40 additional Israeli hostages held in Gaza.

The hostages include women and men older than 60, in exchange for a cease-fire for one or two weeks, and the release of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails including some which Israel classifies as security prisoners, according to the proposal.

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“We are moving from a freeze to a situation that is very cold,” Walla quoted an official.

The Israeli government and Hamas are yet to comment on the report.

A week-long humanitarian pause began Nov. 24 in Gaza under which a prisoner swap was implemented between Hamas and Israel.

Since Hamas’ cross-border attack on Oct. 7, Israel has continued relentless attacks on the Gaza Strip, killing at least 21,507 Palestinians and injuring 55,915, according to local health authorities.

an Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman revised the official death toll on Nov. 10 from the Hamas attacks, lowering the figure to around 1,200, and since, Tel Aviv has not provided additional information about casualties.

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