Will Hamas release Israeli hostages? America accepts the proposal

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The Palestinian organization has demanded that Israel commit to a permanent ceasefire before signing the deal, and allow negotiations to achieve it in the first six-week phase, the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the talks were private.

Hamas has accepted a US offer to start talks on releasing Israeli hostages, 16 days after the first phase of a deal aimed at ending the nine-month-old war in Gaza was signed, a senior Hamas source told Reuters on Saturday. The Palestinian organization has demanded that Israel must commit to a permanent ceasefire before signing the deal, and allow for negotiations to achieve it in the first six-week phase, the source said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the talks were private.

A Palestinian official involved in the brokered ceasefire efforts had said that if Israel agrees to the proposal it could result in a framework deal and end the Gaza war that began on October 7 last year. More than 38,000 people have been killed in Gaza in the war, which began after Hamas militants attacked southern Israeli cities by air, land and sea. They took about 250 people hostage while the attacks killed about 1,200 people.

The Hamas source said the US proposal ensures that mediators will guarantee a temporary ceasefire, the delivery of humanitarian aid and the withdrawal of Israeli troops while indirect talks continue to implement the second phase of the deal. Efforts by US-backed Arab mediators have so far failed to conclude a ceasefire, with both sides blaming each other for the impasse.

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