Israel and Hamas may be closing in on another deal to temporarily pause the fighting in Gaza to allow for more prisoners held captive by both sides to be released.
A coalition of negotiators from the United States and Middle Eastern countries has submitted a proposal to Hamas leaders that calls for the militant group to release 109 hostages that have been held captive since the Oct. 7 terrorist attack. In exchange, Israel would pull back military operation in Gaza for six weeks, while also releasing three Palestinian prisoners for every Israeli hostage set free.
Israeli officials have accepted parts of the proposal, in principle, but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to continue war efforts until Israel achieves "total victory." Nonetheless, Scripps News international correspondent Sarah Coates says optimism has spread throughout the region that a temporary truce could come in the near future.
Senior Hamas officials will be meeting with Egyptian negotiators in Cairo Wednesday to discuss the details of the proposal — specifically the timeline in which it could play out.
It's expected that the exchange would take place over three stages, with the first seeing women, children, the elderly and the injured released in exchange for Palestinian prisoners. The second stage would set free some soldiers, while the third would allow for the bodies of those killed in the Gaza Strip to be returned to Israel.
This comes as families of those held captive have been meeting with U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan at the White House, urging him to remain focused on negotiations to free their family members. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken will be traveling to the region again this weekend in attempt to convince leaders on both sides of the war to come to an agreement.
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