Israel hopeful of Hamas deal to release hostages in ‘coming days’
The Israeli ambassador to the US, Michael Herzog, has expressed hope for a deal to release a significant number of hostages held by Hamas in the “coming days”. Efforts are underway, with Qatar also mediating, and reports suggest that a deal may be within reach.
Hamas took an estimated 240 people hostage during attacks on 7 October, resulting in the death of 1,200 Israelis. The situation has escalated, with Israel launching a retaliatory operation aimed at eliminating Hamas, resulting in a death toll of 12,300 in Gaza.
The Washington Post has reported that Israel and Hamas are close to an agreement on a US-brokered deal that would free dozens of women and children held hostage in Gaza in exchange for a five-day pause in fighting. Qatar’s Prime Minister Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman al-Thani has also stated that only “very minor” practical and logistical obstacles remain, indicating that a deal is close.
Protesters have gathered in cities around the world, calling for the release of the hostages taken by Hamas. In Israel, families of the hostages have put pressure on the government to prioritize securing their release. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has faced criticism for not doing more to free those held by Hamas, with protesters demanding answers and action.
The situation remains tense, with the US continuing to work towards a deal and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu ruling out a full ceasefire. However, the hope for a resolution and the potential for a deal to release hostages in the coming days offers a glimmer of optimism in the midst of the conflict.