Israel, Hamas agree to hand over control of Gaza to Palestinian Authority police force – report

Hamas, Israel have reportedly reached a breakthrough in hostage deal talks, with both sides ceding control of Gaza to an international force supported by thousands of US-trained Palestinian Authority-backed security personnel.

By World Israel News Staff

Israel and the Hamas terror organization have agreed to a compromise on a key component of a possible ceasefire and hostage deal, potentially paving the way for an agreement based on President Joe Biden’s three-part framework, The Washington Post reported.

According to the Post report, published Wednesday evening, the compromise revolves around stage two of the Biden administration’s proposed framework for a hostage deal.

While Hamas has in the past insisted that Israeli forces withdraw from the Gaza Strip during this stage and enable Hamas to reassert control over positions now held by the IDF – a condition Israel has rejected out of hand – the terror organization is now reportedly prepared to agree to Gaza being administered by a third party.

Hamas, one U.S. official told the Post, is now “prepared to relinquish authority to the interim governance arrangement.”

Under the proposed arrangement, which the Post claimed Israel has also agreed to, during the interim period of the ceasefire deal, the Strip would be policed by a special force of 2,500-American trained security personnel loyal to the Palestinian Authority.

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The security personnel would reportedly be drawn from a list of candidates pre-approved by Israel.

During this second phase, the U.S.-trained Gaza force would receive backing from moderate Arab states, though the report did not elaborate on the form this support would manifest itself.

The tentative agreement on the interim phase of the ceasefire was reached after Hamas leaders earlier this week signaled that they have dropped their demand that Israel commit as part of the deal to a permanent truce.

“The framework is agreed,” a senior U.S. official told the Post.

All that is now left, the source claimed, is “negotiating details of how it will be implemented.”