Washington (diplomat.so) - Israel has declined the proposition of a ceasefire offered in exchange for the release of hostages held by the Palestinian movement Hamas, according to diplomatic sources reported by NBC News.
"A significant portion of the details has been agreed upon. The sticking point, however, lies in Israel's reluctance to commit to a permanent ceasefire," revealed a diplomat from a third country briefed on the ongoing talks concerning the release of hostages in Gaza.
As per NBC News, officials from the United States, Qatar, and Egypt persist in their efforts to broker an agreement that would secure the release of captives still held in Gaza. Hamas, on the other hand, is insisting on a permanent cessation of hostilities, a complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza, and the release of a substantial number of Palestinian prisoners.
The current proposal put forth by mediators involves a phased release of hostages over a 30-day period, according to officials cited by the broadcaster.
Earlier reports from the Wall Street Journal indicated that the United States, Egypt, and Qatar are urging both Israel and Hamas to engage in another hostage release deal. The proposed plan outlines the sequential release of hostages, starting with civilians and leading to the eventual release of Israeli soldiers, coupled with the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza and increased humanitarian aid to the enclave.
The renewed tensions in the Middle East originated on October 7, 2023, when militants associated with the Palestinian group Hamas initiated an unexpected incursion into Israeli territory from the Gaza Strip. The incursion resulted in the loss of lives in border communities and the taking of hostages. Subsequently, Israel responded with retaliatory strikes on Gaza, as well as targeted areas in Lebanon and Syria. The situation escalated further when, on December 1, the Israeli army accused Hamas of violating a ceasefire established on November 24, prompting a resumption of combat operations in Gaza.