Hamas is expected to respond soon to a proposal that includes hostage releases


A senior Hamas official says the group will respond “very soon” to a proposal that includes extended pauses in Gaza fighting and phased exchanges of Hamas-held hostages for Palestinians imprisoned in Israel, Paralel.Az reports citing Associated Press.

The official told The Associated Press on Friday a lasting cease-fire is the most important component for Hamas, and that everything else can be negotiated.

The multi-stage proposal was drafted several days ago by senior officials from the United States, Israel, Qatar and Egypt, and is awaiting a Hamas response. In Cairo, a senior Egyptian official with direct knowledge of the contacts said Hamas has not submitted a formal response but that it has sent positive signals.

The proposal being presented to Hamas includes a significant increase in aid trucks entering Gaza and allowing displaced residents to gradually return to their homes in the north, but does not explicitly call for a permanent cease-fire. Israel has said it would not agree to end the war as a condition for hostage releases.