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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Israel agrees to US proposal on prisoner exchange with Hamas

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Washington: Israel agrees to the terms proposed by the United States for the exchange of Palestinian prisoners for Israeli hostages held by Palestinian movement Hamas in the Gaza Strip and is awaiting a response from the movement on this matter, CNN reported, citing a source.

The proposal was put forward by CIA Director Bill Burns, the report said, adding that it involves the release by Israel of about 700 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the release of 40 Israeli hostages by Hamas.

However, agreements were still not reached on other issues, including the delivery of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip and the deployment of the Israeli military in the enclave, the report read.

On Sunday, Israeli reporter for the Axios news portal Barak Ravid wrote on X, citing unnamed Israeli officials, that the US proposal involves the release of 100 Palestinians serving life sentences for killing Israelis, fewer than what was proposed by Qatari mediators three weeks ago.

Israel rejected the Qatari proposal because Hamas had failed to respond to the one put forward during the Paris talks, which included the release of 400 prisoners, among them 25 serving life sentences, Ravid wrote.

Israel is also willing to discuss a US “bridging proposal” on the return of Palestinian civilians to the northern Gaza Strip, which the journalist described as “one of the main points of contention in the talks.”

Last October, Hamas launched a large-scale rocket attack against Israel from the Gaza Strip and breached the border, killing 1,200 people and abducting around 240 others. Israel launched retaliatory strikes, ordered a complete blockade of Gaza, and started a ground incursion into the Palestinian enclave with the declared goal of eliminating Hamas fighters and rescuing the hostages. Over 32,200 people have been killed so far in the Gaza Strip, local authorities said.

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