Negotiations between the two sides, which have been involved in a renewed cycle of violence and clashes since the beginning of October, have been taking place for several weeks under the auspices of Qatar, where Hamas has its political office and where Haniyeh also lives. They are focused on finding an agreement that would allow the release of about 240 hostages captured by Hamas on October 7.
In recent days, there have been several optimistic predictions about the talks. For example, Qatari Prime Minister Mohamed bin Abdulrahman bin Jasim Al Tani said on Sunday that only a few “minor” technical issues remain unresolved regarding the agreement, which would introduce a temporary ceasefire in exchange for the release of some hostages. Hanije announced that his group “has given its answer to the brothers in Qatar and the mediators and we are close to agreeing on a ceasefire”. Among other things, in accordance with the agreement, a five-day ceasefire was to be introduced and between 50 and 100 captured civilians were to be released. In exchange, Israel would release around 300 Palestinians from its prisons. The agreement should also allow up to 300 trucks of food and medical equipment to arrive in Gaza. Most of the hostages are Israeli civilians, including young children and the elderly. So far, Hamas has released four.
American President Joe Biden also said on Monday that an agreement on the release of the hostages is close. “I think so,” he said when asked if he thought they were close to a deal. The White House said only that the negotiations were in the final stages, but did not want to reveal details, saying that this could jeopardize a successful conclusion.
Reports from Gaza of several dead in Israeli attacks on the Nuseirat camp
Today, Palestinian media reports on Israeli attacks on the Nuseirat refugee camp in Gaza, in which at least 15 people are said to have been killed. The Palestinian Information Center warned that a “large number” of people were still under the rubble. Meanwhile, fighting is said to continue in the area of the Indonesian hospital in the north of the enclave. Israel has not yet responded to allegations of an attack on the Nuseirat camp, reports the British BBC.
Meanwhile, Marwan al-Sultan, director of the Indonesian hospital in northern Gaza, which was the target of Israeli military strikes on Monday, said that “occasional gunfire” could still be heard in the area of the facility. He described the Israeli attack on the hospital as deadly.
According to him, there are still around 500 patients in the hospital, and preparations are underway to evacuate those who need surgery. They were supposed to be moved to the south of the enclave. Two buses are expected to arrive at the hospital for this purpose. “We are still waiting, nobody knows what will happen,” he said.