Israel’s latest offer to Hamas contains painful concessions

Israel’s latest reported offer: 400 terrorists, increased aid, and 40 days’ ceasefire in return for 40 hostages.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Details of a revised hostage deal awaiting Hamas’ agreement that would only cover some of the abductees were reported by Reuters Tuesday.

The latest Israel offer is for 40 hostages who are over the age of 50 and under 19, those who are ill, and all remaining women. In exchange, Israel will stop all military activity for 40 days, release 400 terrorists, including those with blood on their hands, increase the number of humanitarian aid trucks going into Gaza to 500 per day, and deliver thousands of tents and mobile homes for those who fled their homes ahead of the IDF incursion into the Strip.

In addition, Israel reportedly agreed to restore the functioning of bakeries and rehabilitate hospitals in the coastal enclave.

The IDF has raided most of the medical centers in Gaza, as Hamas uses them as command and control centers from which they launch attacks, making them a legitimate military target according to international law. While the soldiers were careful not to harm patients and staff in their raids, there were clashes with terrorists around the compounds, and terror tunnels found underneath that had to be dealt with.

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The IDF has already given fuel and medical supplies to several of the hospitals they cleared of terrorists so that they could continue to function.

Humanitarian aid to Gaza is a controversial subject in Israel, as its critics say it is stolen by Hamas instead of being given to civilians, thereby prolonging the war.

According to this outline, Israel stood firm in rejecting Hamas’ demand for a cessation of the war and complete withdrawal of IDF troops from the Gaza Strip.

Qatari media outlet Al Jazeera meanwhile reported Monday night that in exchange for the 40 hostages, Israel has agreed to withdraw its troops from Gazan population centers, stop patrol flights over Gaza for eight hours a day, and allow the gradual return of non-military age civilians to the northern end of the Strip.

In both reports, Israel agreed not to rearrest those terrorists whom it releases. Dozens of the more than 1,000 terrorists Israel released in the 2011 Shalit deal who returned to attacking Jews were recaptured over the years, for example, and Hamas wants a guarantee that Israel will not do it again.

Hamas head Yahya Sinwar was one of those freed in exchange for IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, whom Hamas had kidnapped five years earlier. Sinwar masterminded his organization’s October 7 invasion of Israel, massacring  1,200 people and kidnapping 253, of whom 102 are still believed to be alive in captivity.