Tel Aviv, January 1: The negotiations between Hamas and Israel are going-on in Cairo, Egypt for a possible ceasefire and hostage release. Senior officials of Israel, Qatar and Egypt are participating in these negotiations. Sources in Israel Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) told IANS that the Hamas has informed the mediators that they were willing to release at least 60 hostages as a first step, including women and elderly men and want a two week ceasefire in return.

“Hamas earlier had said that they will not release any hostage until Israel moves the troops back from occupied territories. The Israelis had rejected this too. However, Hamas now has agreed to release 60 hostages,” sources said. They said that negotiations are now going on about the Palestinian prisoners who will be released in exchange for Israeli hostages. Israel-Hamas Conflict: Release of 50 Hostages Kidnapped From Israel Likely To Happen Soon

Sources said that the Israelis are willing to release Palestinian prisoners charged with “grievous criminal” activities including “murder”. “If the talks don’t hit a roadblock the first round of hostage release is likely to take place this week only,” source said. During the temporary one week truce from November 24 to December 1 last year, the Hamas released 105 hostages while 129 hostages still remain in Hamas captivity.

The Israelis believe that out of the remaining 129 hostages, at least 20 hostages have died. There are thousands of Palestinians in Israeli jails who have been held without any trials and access to legal counsel. Israel launched a ground offensive inside Gaza on October 27 after Hamas attacked Israel in a surprise attack on October 7 in which 1200 Israelis were killed and over 200 were taken hostage. Israel-Hamas Ceasefire Deal: Israeli Government Confirms Receiving First-Stage Hostage Release List

Since the outbreak of hostilities between Hamas and Israel, at least 21, 822 Palestinians have been killed, mostly children and women while 56,451 Palestinians have been injured.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Jan 01, 2024 06:27 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website