Ceasefire Talks Heat Up as Israel and Hamas Engage in Talks

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As the nine-month anniversary of the Oct. 7 terrorist attack, in which Hamas killed over 1,200 people and kidnapped approximately 250 others, approaches, Israeli President Isaac Herzog has reaffirmed his country’s commitment to securing the release of the remaining hostages. In a statement, Herzog emphasized that an “absolute majority” of Israelis support a ceasefire deal that guarantees the hostages’ safe return.

According to a Hamas source, the terrorist group has dropped its demand that Israel agree to end the war in Gaza prior to the start of the ceasefire, instead proposing to allow negotiations to achieve a comprehensive ceasefire during the first phase of the deal. The proposal is reportedly close to the one publicly outlined by President Joe Biden in late May, which called for a three-phase end to the war.

Under the proposed deal, Hamas would release elderly, women, and those in need of care during the first phase, which would last four to six weeks. Israeli forces would withdraw from densely populated areas of Gaza, and Israel would release hundreds of Palestinians detained in Israel. The deal would also allow for a surge in desperately needed humanitarian aid.

In exchange, Israel would receive guarantees of the release of all living remaining hostages and the complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza. While details of the second phase would be finalized during the first phase, which could be extended if the specifics are not determined in time, Israeli officials have indicated that the war in Gaza is slowly coming to an end.

The proposed deal is not a guarantee to occur, as Israel and Hamas have repeatedly failed to come to a second ceasefire deal since the first one expired at the end of November. However, the renewed effort has brought hope that a resolution to the conflict could be imminent.

Mike Brest
Mike Brest
Defense Reporter. Prior to joining the defense beat, he spent two years covering breaking news, and he worked at the Daily Caller in a similar capacity before that. Mike graduated from American University and is originally from the suburbs of Philadelphia.

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