Qatar, who is mediating the hostage talks between Israel and Hamas, said the negotiations are at its "closest point" since the start of the war on October 7. The negotiations are at its "final stage", Qatar added, as per news agency AFP.
The truce deal, being negotiated between Israel and Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, is for a multi-day pause in hostilities, the release of around 50 civilian hostages by Hamas, and the release of Palestinian women and children from Israeli jails, a source told Reuters.
The potential deal would represent the largest hostage release and the initial prisoner swap since the war broke out on October 7. During its attack on Israel, Hamas took around 240 Israelis to Gaza as hostages, and killed 1,200 people, according to Israeli authorities.
On the other hand, over 13,300 Palestinians, including at least 5,600 children and 3,550 women, have been killed, according to Gaza's health ministry.
Earlier on Tuesday, the leader of Hamas informed Reuters that the Palestinian terrorist group was on the verge of reaching a truce agreement with Israel. This statement came despite the ongoing ground invasion into Gaza by Israeli forces.
Israel has generally avoided giving commentary on the status of the Qatar-led talks. Israel's Channel 12 television quoted an unidentified senior government source saying "they are close" but gave no further details.
Mirjana Spoljaric, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), met Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh in Qatar on Monday to "advance humanitarian issues" related to the conflict, the Geneva-based ICRC said in a statement. She also separately met Qatari authorities.
The ICRC said it was not part of negotiations aimed at releasing the hostages, but as a neutral intermediary it was ready "to facilitate any future release that the parties agree to".
Copyright©2024 Living Media India Limited. For reprint rights: Syndications Today