Senior Israeli official and Hamas chief in exile Ismail Haniyeh say talks are close to securing deal to free 50-100 hostages in exchange for release of 300 terrorists.
By David Rosenberg, World Israel News
Brokered talks between Israel, the United States, and Hamas are close to securing an agreement for the release of civilians held captive in the Gaza Strip, in exchange for the release of hundreds of jailed Palestinian terrorists, AFP reported Tuesday morning.
A senior Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the two sides are “very close to a deal” to secure the release of dozens of hostages,” Channel 12 reported.
“The talks are very far along, we are just ironing out the small details.”
The Israeli government has yet to publicly comment on the possible deal.
Senior Hamas and Islamic Jihad officials confirmed to AFP Tuesday that both terror groups have already agreed to the basic outline of the deal now under consideration.
The agreement now being hammered out, the sources claimed, would see the freeing of between 50 to 100 civilians – both Israelis and foreign nationals – in exchange for the release of 300 convicted terrorists from Israeli jails.
While previous reports on the potential prisoner swap claimed that only female terrorists and terrorists under 18 would be release, the Islamic Jihad and Hamas officials said only that women and minors would be among the 300 terrorists that would be released.
A senior Hamas official in exile, Ismail Haniyeh, released a statement to AFP claiming that an agreement is likely to be reached soon.
“We are close to reaching a deal on a truce,” Haniyeh said.
Qatar, a patron of the Hamas terror organization, has been brokering talks between the Biden administration, Israel, and Hamas since the October 7th invasion which left over 240 captives in the Gaza Strip.
Four hostages – all female civilians – have been freed since the invasion, while a fifth – a female soldier – was rescued by Israeli security forces during operations in the Gaza Strip.
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