The TV channel Kan 11 claimed that the supposed talks are being mediated by Qatar and the US
Israel and Hamas are negotiating a potential ‘children for children’ exchange deal with the US and Qatar acting as mediators, the Israeli state-owned TV channel Kan 11 has reported, citing anonymous sources. A deal could be reached within the next 48-72 hours, according to the outlet ABC, citing an unnamed Israeli official.
According to the Israeli government’s estimates, Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups are still holding 240 hostages in Gaza following the October 7 incursion. To date, Hamas has freed four people – a mother and daughter from Chicago, as well as two elderly Israeli women. Israeli troops were also able to rescue a soldier who had been captured.
Qatar, which hosts the Islamist group’s political bureau, played a key role in facilitating those releases.
In its report on Tuesday, Kan 11 quoted “two sources privy to the details of the talks” as claiming that a deal might see abducted Israeli children released from captivity in Gaza and Palestinian children currently held in Israeli prisons freed as well. One of the sources stressed that the negotiations are still underway, with no final decision made yet.
Meanwhile, ABC, citing an unnamed Israeli official, reported that significant progress had been made, and that the release of hostages and prisoners could take place within a few days.
Israel and Hamas are currently trying to agree on the exact number of hostages to be freed, the names of Palestinian inmates to be released, as well as the stages in which the process would be conducted, Kan 11 claimed. The media outlet also alleged that the Israeli authorities would likely agree to a ceasefire as part of the deal, though its duration is still under discussion.
Speaking to reporters at the White House on Tuesday, US President Joe Biden, too, expressed confidence that such an agreement would be sealed soon.
On Monday, the Washington Post reported that Israel and Hamas were edging toward a hostage deal that could result in the release of most of the Israeli women and children held by the militants in Gaza. The newspaper’s source claimed that the “general outline of the deal is understood,” and an announcement could be made within several days.
In a statement that same day, Abu Ubaida, spokesman for Hamas’ al-Qassam Brigades, said that the group was ready to free up to 70 Israeli children and women in exchange for a five-day truce. He added that the group was also seeking the release of as many as 200 Palestinian children and 75 women held in Israeli prisons.
November 15, 2023 at 07:34PM