On Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu conveyed that “we are making progress” in the efforts to secure the return of hostages taken by Hamas during the October 7 attacks. This follows signals from mediators indicating a potential truce deal. Netanyahu expressed optimism, stating, “I hope there will be good news soon,” during his address to Israeli soldiers at a military base in the north.
Subsequently, his office released a statement noting that, “in light of the developments regarding the release of our hostages,” the war cabinet, security cabinet, and the government will convene consecutively on Tuesday evening.
The statements followed comments from the Hamas leader, accused by Israel of causing approximately 1,200 casualties and seizing around 240 hostages in the attacks. Alongside key mediator Qatar, both indicated that a truce agreement with Israel was on the horizon.
Sources from Hamas and Islamic Jihad, speaking anonymously to AFP, disclosed that the potential agreement would encompass an exchange of hostages and Palestinian prisoners, along with a proposed five-day truce.
The proposed agreement comprises a full ground ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and the cessation of Israeli air operations over Palestinian territory. Notably, in the northern region, these operations would only pause for six hours daily, according to sources from the allied groups.
In response to the October 7 attacks, Israel undertook an extensive bombing campaign and initiated a ground offensive in the Gaza Strip.
According to the Hamas government, they claim that the conflict has resulted in the deaths of more than 13,300 people, including thousands of children.
Netanyahu did not mention a ceasefire in his remarks. “We aim to restore security; we will take action to ensure the return of security to both the south and the north,” he stated. “I want to commend you and convey that we persist until victory,” he addressed the troops in the north, near the border with Lebanon.