An agreement could be reached “in the coming hours” for Hamas to release some of the hostages seized from Israel in return for Israel releasing Palestinian prisoners, a senior Hamas official said Tuesday.
Officials in the U.S. and in Qatar, mediators in the talks, have been describing a deal as near for days. Hamas and Israeli officials had been less willing to issue hopeful statements, but multiple media outlets includingcited unnamed Israeli sources saying the deal could be announced as soon as Tuesday.
“This is a limited truce for a few days and not a total cease-fire,” the Hamas official, Izzat Rishq, told Al Jazeera TV. “Aid will be introduced to all areas of the Gaza Strip in exchange for the release of Israeli abductees, women and children, at the same time as the release of a limited number of Palestinian prisoners, women and children, from prisons in Israel.”
Ismail Haniyeh, the head of the Hamas politburo, issued a statement saying an agreement for a “truce” was near,reported.
Qatari foreign ministry spokesperson Majed Al-Ansari said Tuesday that talks had reached a “critical and final stage.”
“We are at the closest point we ever had been in reaching an agreement,” he said.
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Monday that “we’re closer than we’ve ever been” to a deal, and President Joe Biden also said an agreement was near.
Militants crashing across the border from Gaza on Oct. 7 killed more than 1,200 Israelis and took 240 people back as hostages, Israeli authorities say. Four hostages have been released and one was freed by Israeli troops. Israel’s ensuing military campaign has killed more than 12,000 Palestinians, the Gaza Health Ministry says.
∎ The Israeli military said it had found militants hiding in three tunnel shafts in the area of Jabalia.During the battle,the division struck three tunnel shafts in the area of Jabalia, home to a densely populated refugee camp.
∎ The Israeli militaryof an anti-tank missile and other armaments found under a baby’s crib in Gaza.
against Gov. Ron DeSantis and other top state officials after the state university system “deactivated” the Students for Justice in Palestine. The students, represented by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, accused officials of attempting to strip them of their right to free speech. The deactivation , issued Oct. 24 by schools Chancellor Ray Rodrigues, cited the group’s Hamas resistance “toolkit” stating that Palestinian students in exile “are part of this movement.”
The ACLU filed a similar suit on behalf of the same student group’s chapter at the University of Florida.
“Let us be real in Florida, student groups that express criticism of Israel’s government are neither antisemitic nor are they terror supporters,” said CAIR-Florida lawyer Omar Saleh. “We don’t believe the government can legally ban USF’s SJP for criticisms that it merely dislikes.”
Contributing: The Associated Press
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