After weeks of conflict in the Gaza Strip, Hamas is reportedly on the verge of reaching a truce agreement with Israel. Ismail Haniyeh, the leader of the Palestinian group, announced that Hamas officials are in talks with Qatari mediators to finalize the terms of the ceasefire.
While details of the agreement have not been disclosed, negotiations are said to focus on the duration of the ceasefire, delivery of aid into Gaza, and the exchange of captives between the two parties. Hamas official Ezzat el-Reshiq confirmed that the deal will involve the release of women and children and is being mediated by Qatar.
Additionally, the truce will include provisions for humanitarian aid delivery across Gaza, as well as the transfer of injured individuals to other countries for treatment. However, negotiations have been ongoing for several weeks, with the Israeli side reportedly stalling the process.
Amidst the discussions, Yahya Sinwar, a senior Hamas official, stated that the agreement would prohibit Israeli aircraft from operating in Gaza during the ceasefire.
Speculation about an imminent deal to exchange captives has been circulating as Qatari mediators seek to broker an agreement between Hamas and Israel. The UN Security Council recently passed a resolution calling for humanitarian pauses and corridors in the Gaza Strip to facilitate aid delivery and medical evacuations, following repeated failed attempts to respond to the conflict.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres emphasized the urgent need for ceasefire, highlighting the unprecedented level of civilian casualties in Gaza. The resolution also called for the protection of children and other civilians in the region.
According to the Ministry of Health in Gaza, the conflict has resulted in thousands of Palestinian casualties, including a significant number of women and children. In return, Hamas and its allies have taken captives during their incursion into southern Israel, further complicating the negotiations.