Israel-Hamas war: Mediatory talks on for a two-month-long ceasefire to release hostages

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Hectic parleys are on in Doha, Cairo and Washington for a two-month-long ceasefire between Israel and Hamas for release of hostages. Arab and Qatari media have reported that the Hamas leadership wants a permanent truce on the release of hostages. Sources in Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office told IANS that Israel was not agreeing to such a truce.

IANS had earlier reported that the latest round of mediatory talks commenced on December 28 and is continuing. However, Israel’s side may agree to a one-month ceasefire for a phased release of hostages in exchange for Palestinian prisoners who are in Israel’s jails.

The agreement, if done, would have a phased release of hostages commencing from civilians to soldiers and reservists who are in the captivity of Hamas. The Hamas side also wants Israel to agree for the relocation of its top leaders including Mohammed Deif and Yahya Sinwar to be relocated to other countries, which according to sources, Israel has not agreed upon.

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Israel is facing mounting pressure back home with the families of Hostages upping their ante with various protests inside the country and abroad for the release of prisoners. Meanwhile, former Hamas head Khaled Mashaal has rejected the proposed two nation theory of Israel and Palestine.

Speaking to an Arabic media, Mashaal said: “After the October 7 attack on Israel by Hamas, liberating Palestine from the ‘river to the sea’ is a realisitc idea.” The Hamas and other Palestinian movements are for liberating the land stretching from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean sea. This would mean the West Bank, Gaza and the whole of Israel. With the mediatory talks on its peak, the possibilities of a one month ceasefire to the war is likely.