Israel Authorizes Talks for Gaza Ceasefire Amid Hostage Concerns

World | February 25, 2024, Sunday // 08:42
Bulgaria: Israel Authorizes Talks for Gaza Ceasefire Amid Hostage Concerns

Israel has authorized further discussions to pursue a new ceasefire in Gaza, as reported by AFP citing local sources. Talks are set to continue in Qatar following recent discussions in Paris, focusing on a ceasefire deal in Gaza and the release of hostages held by Hamas. Israel insists on the release of hostages, starting with women, as a precondition for any agreement, according to Tzachi Hanegbi, the national security adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. However, Hanegbi emphasized that such an agreement wouldn't signify the end of the conflict, cautioning on Israel's An 12 television.

Hamas, on its part, seeks a comprehensive ceasefire and the withdrawal of the Israeli military from Gaza. Sources within Hamas outlined a proposed plan from January, suggesting a six-week pause in hostilities and the release of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for hostages.

Approximately 100 hostages are believed to be alive in Gaza, with another 30 suspected to have died. Prime Minister Netanyahu announced plans to convene the government to approve an operational strategy for Rafah, including civilian evacuation.

Protests erupted in Israeli cities demanding the release of Hamas-held hostages, with demonstrators also expressing dissatisfaction with Netanyahu's leadership. In Tel Aviv, protesters held placards holding Netanyahu accountable, leading to police intervention with water cannons. Similar demonstrations took place in Jerusalem, Haifa, and Beersheba.

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Tags: Gaza, ceasefire, Israel, Hostages

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