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Gaza Ceasefire: “There is hope” — U.S



Gaza Ceasefire: "There is hope" -- U.S

Israel and Hamas are considering a new framework proposed by Egypt aimed at a ceasefire in Gaza, according to sources familiar with the negotiations.

The proposed framework involves the release of up to 33 hostages held by Hamas in exchange for a temporary ceasefire.

Outlined in two phases, the first phase entails the gradual release of 20 to 33 hostages over several weeks, coupled with a pause in hostilities and the release of Palestinian prisoners.

The second phase aims at achieving what sources termed as “restoration of sustainable calm,” involving the exchange of remaining hostages, captive Israeli soldiers, and the bodies of hostages for additional Palestinian prisoners.

The diplomatic source characterized the reference to “sustainable calm” as a subtle means to agree to a permanent ceasefire without explicitly labeling it as such.

If accepted by both parties, this agreement would mark a significant breakthrough in ending the prolonged conflict. However, failure to reach an agreement could escalate tensions, potentially leading to a large-scale Israeli ground invasion of the southern Gaza city of Rafah, where over a million Palestinians have sought refuge.

Awaiting Hamas’s response, Israeli officials anticipate further discussions in Cairo, with a working-level Israeli delegation set to engage in talks on Tuesday. Yahya Sinwar, the Hamas leader in Gaza, is expected to provide a response within the coming days, possibly within the next 24 hours.

Gaza Ceasefire: "There is hope" -- U.S

The duration of the initial pause in hostilities would be tied to the number of hostages released, with the current framework suggesting a one-day pause for each hostage. However, this arrangement is subject to adjustment during subsequent negotiations.

Previously, negotiations had centered on the release of 40 hostages in exchange for a six-week ceasefire. However, Israel has shown willingness to accept fewer hostages in the initial phase after Hamas revised its offer to fewer than 20 individuals earlier this month.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has described Israel’s ceasefire proposal as “extraordinarily generous,” emphasizing Hamas’s pivotal role in reaching an agreement.

Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry echoed this sentiment, expressing hope for acceptance of the proposal by both sides and emphasizing the urgency of addressing humanitarian conditions in Gaza.