Tel Aviv (Uttam Hindu News): Hamas Politburo leader Ismail Haniyeh claimed on Tuesday that his militant group is close to reaching a ceasefire deal with Israel regarding the release of hostages captured on October 7 following the attack on the Jewish state.
Haniyeh’s comments came after Hamas expressed its desire to broker a ceasefire in Qatar. “We are close to reaching a ceasefire agreement,” Haniyeh said. However, the senior Hamas leader did not provide any other information on the said agreement.
Nearly 70 percent of the militant group’s top leadership has been killed in the army’s ongoing ground offensive in Gaza, according to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). But it remains to be seen whether Israel will agree to a ceasefire, including an exchange of Palestinian prisoners. The Israeli government is also under pressure from the families of the hostages.
According to officials, 237 people have been detained in Gaza, including Israelis and foreign citizens. On Monday, an Israeli military spokesman said that 40 of the hostages were children. So far, four civilian hostages have been released by Hamas, one Israeli soldier was rescued by the forces and three bodies of the hostages have reportedly been recovered.