‘On the Brink of Framework Agreement’ – Gallant Says Prisoner Swap is ‘Closer than Ever’

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. (Photo: U.S. Secretary of Defense, via Wikimedia Commons)

Israeli officials believe Hamas’ latest response will enable the two parties to enter detailed negotiations to reach an agreement.

Israel is ‘closer than ever’ to reaching a prisoner swap deal with Palestinians, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said on Thursday, Israeli Channel 12 reported. 

His comments were made to the families of Israel captives held in Gaza. 

For its part, the Israeli army public broadcaster KAN said that the Israeli cabinet will hold a session to review Hamas’s response to the Gaza cease-fire proposal that also includes a prisoner swap deal.

The meeting is reportedly scheduled for later this evening. 

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‘Detailed Negotiations’ 

Meanwhile, CNN quoted an Israeli source familiar with the negotiations, stating that both parties “appear to be on the brink of a framework agreement for a cease-fire and hostage release deal.” 

The same source added that Israeli officials believe Hamas’ latest response will enable the two parties to enter detailed negotiations to reach an agreement.

Mediators have delivered a response from Hamas to a proposal that would include the release of captives held in Gaza and a cease-fire in Gaza. 

The Palestinian Resistance group, Hamas, confirmed late Wednesday that its leader Ismail Haniyeh held talks with Qatari, Egyptian, and Turkish officials to review developments regarding a cease-fire in Gaza.

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The group stressed that it has “engaged positively” with the cease-fire developments. Hamas says any deal must end the war and bring a full Israeli withdrawal from Gaza. 

Israel, however, argues it will accept only temporary pauses in the fighting and wants to end the governance capabilities of the Resistance group.

Gaza Genocide

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7. 

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 37,953 Palestinians have been killed, and 87,266 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 11,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip. 

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire’. 

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Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli war has resulted in an acute famine, mostly in northern Gaza, resulting in the death of many Palestinians, mostly children. 

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Later in the war, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians began moving from the south to central Gaza in a constant search for safety.  

(Anadolu, PC)

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