Prisoner exchange with Hamas proposed

The prisoner exchange with Hamas could allow the release of a group of people who have nothing to do with the armed conflict.

In this regard, Israel accepted a “bridging proposal” from the United States on a prisoner exchange with Hamas, in exchange for each hostage held by Hamas.

This was stated in X by CNN analyst Barak Ravid, citing an unnamed senior Israeli official.

Israel accepted the prisoner exchange proposal with Hamas put forward by CIA Director Bill Burns, according to Ravid.

Burns was in Doha, Qatar, where Hamas and Israel are holding talks through mediators.

The delegations are now awaiting a response from Hamas, Ravid said.

A diplomatic source briefed on the matter confirmed the accuracy of the information to CNN, but said issues remain, including aid inflows and “Israeli military repositioning” in Gaza.

CNN contacted Israeli and Hamas officials about the status of the talks.

Prisoner exchange with Hamas: Only way out?

It is unclear what changes were made to the number of Palestinian prisoners. The latest Hamas proposal this month called for the release of between 700 and 1,000 Palestinian prisoners. Israel at the time described the demands as “ridiculous” and “absurd.”

A deal, if finalized, is expected to have multiple phases. In the first stage, Hamas proposed to release the hostages, who are women – including Israeli soldiers – the elderly, sick and wounded. That number is believed to be approximately 40 of the 100 or so hostages still alive.

Mossad director David Barnea, along with a high-level Israeli security delegation, visited Doha twice this week for talks.

In November there was a truce between Israel and Hamas that allowed the release of hostages captured by the Palestinian Islamist group in exchange for the release of Palestinian prisoners and the entry of more humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip.

By that time, 58 hostages were released and 117 Palestinians have been released from Israeli jails since last Friday.

In another scenario, while seeking to reach a deal to achieve a prisoner exchange with Hamas, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz on Saturday praised the US Congress’ decision not to resume funding for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) until at least 2025, amid suspicions that some of its employees may have ties to the Hamas terror group.

“The historic ban on U.S. funding to UNRWA, passed today with overwhelming bipartisan support, proves what we knew all along: UNRWA is part of the problem and cannot be part of the solution,” Katz wrote on his X account.

Israel informed UNRWA in late January that 12 of its 30,000 employees were involved in the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attacks, although the agency’s director, Philippe Lazzarini, claimed two weeks ago in his first address to the UN General Assembly since the scandal that the Jewish state never provided conclusive evidence proving its workers’ links to Hamas.


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