Conflicts & War

Hamas proposes 3-stage ceasefire, withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza

Jerusalem, Feb 7 (EFE).- The Islamist organization Hamas has proposed a three-phase truce agreement that would include the release of hostages kidnapped on Oct. 7, as well as a complete withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza, according to a draft released overnight.

The three phases would be of 45 days each, and in the first phase, the hostages released would be women and children – civilians under 19 years -, elderly and sick in exchange for a specific number of Palestinian prisoners, according to a text via Telegram delivered late Tuesday night to the mediators in Qatar and Egypt.

The office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed on Tuesday that it had received Hamas’ response to the proposed truce framework through Qatar, the main mediator in the conflict, and was evaluating it.

Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden has described Hamas’ counter-offer as “a little over the top.”

In the first phase of the proposed truce, Hamas has demanded the withdrawal of Israeli air forces from populated areas of the Gaza Strip, the entry of more humanitarian aid and the beginning of the reconstruction of hospitals and homes, as well as the establishment of temporary camps.

In turn, according to the text, indirect talks would be established with Israel to end the war and bring about a return to complete peace, something Israel has repeatedly rejected until now.

In a second phase, all the abducted men would be released in exchange for a number still to be determined of Palestinian prisoners, as well as a complete withdrawal of the Israeli Army from the Palestinian enclave.

The third phase would consist of the exchange of the bodies of at least 27 hostages and other prisoners that died at the hands of both Israel and Hamas.

On Tuesday night, Hamas announced that they had responded to Israel’s proposal in a positive spirit, but details were yet to be made known. EFE

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