The United States believes Israel and Hamas are nearing an agreement that would ensure the release of hostages held in Gaza. The US and Israel denied this after a similar report suggested both sides were close to a breakthrough.
On Monday, US President Joe Biden said he believed a deal was close, Reuters reported. White House spokesman John Kirby said, “We are closer now than we have ever been.”
Following surprise attacks on Israel by Hamas on October 7, which killed 1,200 people, the Palestinian militant group fled with 240 hostages.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said in a statement on Monday that its president Mirjana Spoljaric met with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh to “advance humanitarian issues” related to the conflict, the report said. He also met Qatari officials separately.
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However, the ICRC said it was not part of the negotiations aimed at the release of the hostages, but as a neutral mediator was “ready to facilitate any future releases that the parties agree upon”.
A report published Saturday by the Washington Post said Israel and Hamas were close to reaching a US-brokered deal that would include stopping fighting for five days, allowing humanitarian aid to reach Gaza and Hamas freeing some hostages. Was allowed.
But this report was denied by America and Israel.
Hostage families clash with Israeli minister
Families of Hamas hostages clash with far-right Israeli politicians , who are considering imposing the death penalty on captured Palestinian militants – Because they fear that even the thought of doing so could put the lives of their relatives in danger. They also held a demonstration outside the UNICEF office in Tel Aviv to highlight the estimated 40 children out of 240 held hostage.
Gil Dickman, whose cousin is a hostage, told Israel’s National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, “I beg you not to take advantage of our suffering now… when the lives of our loved ones are at stake, when The sword is on his neck.” , according to Haaretz.
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Another protester, whose sister was taken hostage, urged Hamas to “not engage in mind games” by thinking about carrying out the death penalty.
“And in return we will get pictures of our loved ones being murdered, of the end, for which the State of Israel will be blamed, not them (Hamas). Don’t pursue it until they get back here,” she said. “Don’t get my sister’s blood on your hands,” the Guardian reported.
Responding to the confrontation by relatives of hostages, far-right politicians shouted that they did not have a “monopoly of pain” in comments that frightened many Israelis, the Guardia report said.
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Netanyahu met with angry families
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with the families of the hostages in Tel Aviv on Monday. Angry family members became angry after some of them were denied entry to the meeting held at Kirya military headquarters and had to wait outside in the cold for more than an hour, The Times of Israel reported. Said that eventually everyone was allowed to enter. ,
However, delegates became more angry when Netanyahu told them that the goal of destroying Hamas was tantamount to returning hostages, Udi Goren, whose cousin is Gaza hostage Tal Hayemi, told reporters after coming out of the meeting. Said.
The families of the hostages felt their loved ones were being allowed to stay in Gaza longer, The Times of Israel reported.