Egypt proposes deal to secure release of 40 Israeli hostages during 2-week truce

According to sources, Hamas has agreed to Egypt’s proposal. 

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

Egypt has presented a timeline for a phased hostage deal that would require the release of 40 hostages from Gaza during a two to three-week temporary truce, a Saudi newspaper reported Sunday.

A report by Asharq Al-Awsat detailed the three phases of the deal proposed by Egypt, beginning with a ceasefire of several weeks and 40 hostages to be released to Israel.

The second phase of the agreement involves discussions with the Palestinian Authority about establishing a technocratic government.

During the third stage, there would be a long-term ceasefire, a prisoner exchange deal, and the withdrawal of Israel from the Gaza Strip.

According to sources close to the newspaper, Hamas has agreed to Egypt’s proposal.

The Qatari newspaper Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported that “Egypt’s vision is based on the desire to involve all Palestinian factions and find an alternative to [Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas].”

Last week, Hamas rejected negotiations for a temporary ceasefire similar to the one in late November during which hostages would be released to Israel in exchange for Palestinian prisoners.

Instead, Hamas said it refused to release any hostages unit Israel agreed to a permanent and unconditional ceasefire and full withdrawal from Gaza.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected demands Thursday issued by the Hamas terror organization that the two sides enter a ceasefire as a precondition to talks aimed at securing the release of additional Israeli hostages held in Gaza.

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Instead, he vowed to eliminate the terror group and hinted that the Gaza Strip would not be given to Palestinian Authority control.

“We are fighting until victory,” Netanyahu said in a video statement.

“We will not stop the war until we achieve all of its goals: Completing the elimination of Hamas and releasing all of our hostages.”

Since early in the war, Netanyahu has insisted that Israel will have full “security control” of Gaza after the war and has denied that the Palestinian Authority will control the area.