- The latest developments:
- Hamas confirms to Al Jazeera the details of the truce that Qatar will announce
- Hamas official: The hostages will be exchanged for Palestinian prisoners
- Both sides liberate women and children: Hamas official
- The talks focused on the truce and aid arrangements: Hamas official
GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – The Secretary-General of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) told Reuters on Tuesday that the Palestinian movement is close to reaching a truce agreement with Israel, despite the continuing bloody attack on Gaza and the firing of rockets at Israel.
Ismail Haniyeh said in a statement sent by his aide to Reuters that Hamas officials were “close to reaching a truce agreement” with Israel and that the movement had delivered its response to the Qatari mediators.
The statement did not mention further details, but a Hamas official told Al Jazeera that the negotiations focused on how long the truce would last, arrangements for delivering aid to Gaza, and exchanging Israeli hostages held by Hamas for Palestinian prisoners in Israel.
The official, Aissat Al-Rishq, said that the two sides will release the women and children, and Qatar, which is mediating the negotiations, will announce the details.
Hamas took about 240 hostages during its attack on Israel on October 7, which killed 1,200 people.
The Geneva-based ICRC said in a statement that Mirjana Spoljaric, head of the International Committee of the Red Cross, met with Haniyeh in Qatar on Monday to “advance humanitarian issues” related to the conflict. She also met separately with the Qatari authorities.
The International Committee of the Red Cross said that it was not part of the negotiations aimed at releasing the hostages, but that as a neutral mediator it was ready to “facilitate any future release agreed upon by the parties.”
There has been talk of an impending hostage deal for days. Reuters reported last week that Qatari mediators were seeking an agreement between Hamas and Israel to exchange 50 hostages in exchange for a three-day ceasefire that would boost emergency aid shipments to civilians in Gaza, citing an official familiar with the talks.
Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Herzog said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday that he hopes to reach an agreement “in the coming days,” while Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said the remaining sticking points ” “Very simple.” “.
US President Joe Biden and other US officials said on Monday that the agreement was close, but the agreement seemed close before.
“Delicate negotiations like this can fall apart at the last minute,” White House Deputy National Security Advisor John Feiner told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday. “Nothing is agreed upon until everything is agreed upon.”
The Hamas raid on October 7, the bloodiest day in Israel’s 75-year history, prompted Israel to invade Palestinian territories to target Hamas.
Since then, the Hamas-run government in Gaza has said at least 13,300 Palestinians have been killed, including at least 5,600 children and 3,550 women, due to ongoing Israeli bombing.
Hamas said on its Telegram account on Monday that it had fired a barrage of rockets towards Tel Aviv. Eyewitnesses also reported that rockets were fired into central Israel.
Hospitals are in danger
The Palestinian Wafa News Agency reported on Tuesday that at least 17 Palestinians were martyred in the Israeli bombing of the Nuseirat camp in the central Gaza Strip at midnight.
There was no immediate comment from Israel.
The Gaza Ministry of Health said on Monday that at least 12 Palestinians were killed and dozens wounded as a result of shooting at the Indonesian hospital complex, which was surrounded by Israeli tanks.
Health officials said 700 patients and staff were exposed to Israeli fire.
WAFA said that the facility located in the town of Beit Lahia, northeast of Gaza, which is funded by Indonesian organizations, was subjected to artillery shelling. Hospital workers denied the presence of any armed men in the building.
World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he was “appalled” by the attack, which he also said killed 12 people, including patients, citing unspecified reports.
The IDF said that forces returned fire on fighters in the hospital while taking “several measures to minimize harm” to non-combatants.
Like all other health facilities in the northern half of Gaza, the Indonesian hospital has largely ceased operations but is still housing patients, staff and displaced residents.
On Monday, 28 babies born prematurely were transferred from Al-Shifa Hospital, the largest hospital in Gaza, to Egypt for urgent treatment.
Israeli forces took control of Al-Shifa Hospital last week to search for a network of tunnels that they said Hamas had built under the hospital. Hundreds of patients, medical staff and displaced people left Shifa Hospital over the weekend, with doctors saying forces expelled them and Israel saying the departure was voluntary.
Reports from Reuters offices; Writing by Idris Ali and Raju Gopalakrishnan. Edited by Cynthia Osterman and Simon Cameron-Moore
Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
“Beer buff. Devoted pop culture scholar. Coffee ninja. Evil zombie fan. Organizer.”