A Qatari-brokered deal between Israel and Hamas on the release of hostages and a days-long ceasefire is “in its final stages” and “closer than ever”, a source familiar with the talks said on Tuesday.
Negotiations are underway to release 50 civilian hostages held by Hamas and Palestinian women and children from Israeli prisons, the source said. Hamas attacked Israel and kidnapped 240 hostages. The leader of Hamas said earlier on Tuesday that Hamas is close to a ceasefire agreement with Israel, although attacks on Gaza and rocket fire on Israel continue.
Israel generally does not want to comment on the status of talks led by Qatar. Israel’s Channel 12 television station quoted an unnamed senior government source as saying they were “close” to a deal, but without further details.