Israel, Hamas on the verge of prisoner exchange – report

Israel and Hamas are within days of reaching a deal to release women and children taken by the terror group along with a temporary ceasefire for ‘safe passage.’

By World Israel News staff

A high-ranking Israeli official announced that a deal may be reached within days to release most of the women and children hostages held by Hamas in exchange for Palestinian women and teenagers held in Israeli prisons.

The exchange will be accompanied by a temporary ceasefire for safe passage during the  prisoner exchange and to allow humanitarian aid to reach Gaza, as reported by David Ignatius of The Washington Post.

The deal is being brokered by the emir of Qatar, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim al-Thani along with the CIA and the Mossad. The agreement may be enacted within days, the report claimed.

A slight delay is reportedly demanded by Israel to ensure a well-organized procedure is in place to ensure all 100 women and children hostages are returned.

These assurances were requested after a Hamas official announced Monday on Telegram that they were prepared to return only 70 hostages. Israeli officials demanded a thorough verification process as the prisoners are released one by one and said they are prepared to release 120 female and teenage Palestinians from Israeli jails.

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The ceasefire is expected to last five days to ensure the safe transfer of captives and the arrival of humanitarian aid to Gaza.

Currently in Gaza, there are 239 hostages who were taken from Israel during the October 7th massacre. Most are Israeli citizens and many are dual-citizens. Around 30 hostages are foreign nationals, mainly from Thailand.

Hamas is not holding all of the hostages; a number of them are kept by other groups, such as Islamic Jihad, which is believed to have 35 hostages, and a smaller terror group called “Shabiha.” However, Hamas has the authority to negotiate for the release of all hostages, even those kept by affiliated groups.