Hamas says Gaza truce deal 'close', raising hopes for hostages

21 November 2023
2023-11-21 15:45

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said on Tuesday a truce agreement with Israel was in sight, raising hopes that people taken hostage in the October 7 attacks could be released.

There was no immediate response from Israel on the status of negotiation efforts to secure the release of the estimated 240 hostages. "We are close to reaching a deal on a truce," Haniyeh said to AFP. In retaliation, Israel launched a relentless bombing campaign and ground offensive in Gaza, which is ruled by Hamas.

The tentative deal includes a five-day truce, comprised of a ceasefire on the ground and limits to Israeli air operations over southern Gaza.

Under the agreement, between 50 and 100 Israeli and foreign hostages would be released, but no military personnel.  In exchange, some 300 Palestinians would be released from Israeli jails.

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