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Hamas issues terms for permanent ceasefire with Israel – Reuters

The Palestinian group said it will discuss a permanent ceasefire with Israel after the exchange of prisoners, the outlet has reported

Palestinian armed group Hamas is calling for an exchange of prisoners and the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza as part of a ceasefire agreement, Reuters has reported after reviewing the document.

Early on Friday, Hamas announced on social media that it had presented its “vision” of a prisoner swap with Israel to Qatari and Egyptian mediators. The group said it made the move as part of talks aimed at “stopping the aggression against our people in Gaza, providing relief and assistance to them, and [facilitating] the return of those displaced [by the conflict].”

Reuters later revealed details of the Hamas proposal, which it said envisages a two-stage road-map toward ending the fighting.

In the first stage, Hamas stated it is ready to release Israeli women, including female soldiers, children, the elderly and ill hostages, in exchange for Israel freeing between 700 and 1,000 Palestinian prisoners, around a hundred of whom are serving life sentences, according to the agency.

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In line with the proposal, a deadline for an Israeli withdrawal from Gaza should be agreed following the conclusion of the first stage, Reuters said.

Hamas revealed it would also be ready to negotiate a date for a permanent ceasefire after the initial exchange of prisoners, it added.

According to the agency, the group wants all detainees from both sides to be released in the second stage of the plan.

However, the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu downplayed hopes of an imminent ceasefire on Friday, saying in a message on X (formerly Twitter) that Hamas continues to produce “unrealistic demands.

Netanyahu insisted on Thursday that Israel will complete its mission of “eliminating” Hamas. In order to do so, he stated that Israeli forces will enter Rafah on Gaza’s southern border with Egypt, which has become the last refuge for more than a million displaced Palestinians.

At least 1,100 were killed and 250 taken hostage when Hamas carried out a surprise incursion into Israel on October 7. Many of the captives were released by the group during a week-long truce in November, but Hamas is still believed to be holding around 130 people.

READ MORE: UN report finds Israel deliberately targeted journalists – Reuters

The latest information from Gaza’s health ministry suggests that at least 31,341 Palestinians have been killed and 73,134 others injured in Israeli airstrikes and ground operations in the Palestinian enclave over the past half a year.


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