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Hamas gives initial nod for a six-week ceasefire in Gaza and hostages release with Qatar’s mediation

Hamas has reportedly given “initial positive confirmation” to a proposal for a six-week cessation of fighting in Gaza and the release of hostages, according to Qatar’s foreign ministry spokesman.

Mediated by US, Egyptian, and Qatari officials in Paris, the proposal was approved by Israel, but Hamas sources suggest there is still no consensus.

The Qatar-based leader of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, is expected in Cairo for talks on the proposed truce.

The three-stage plan involves an initial six-week halt to fighting with aid deliveries, a release of specific hostages, negotiations on the withdrawal of Israeli forces, and potential additional phases, including more hostage-prisoner exchanges.

The situation remains complex, and there is optimism but acknowledgment of a tough road ahead.

Meanwhile,

he foreign ministers of Iran and Saudi Arabia discussed a range of issues during a telephone conversation. The bilateral discussion included the war in Gaza, bilateral relations as well as the escalation of war in the region.

Hossein Amir Abdollahian is said to have brought to his Saudi counterpart’s attention Iranian pilgrims’ visits to holy sites in the kingdom.

Amir Abdollahian asked Faisal bin Farhan to help facilitate the visits, emphasizing the need to expedite the commencement of the Hajj and Umrah operations.

Furthermore, both parties expressed satisfaction with the favorable trend of bilateral relations and emphasized the development and deepening of cooperation between the two countries in areas of interest.

Both diplomats also expressed concern about the continuation of Israeli crimes against the oppressed people of Gaza and highlighted the need to lift the brutal siege against the population there. 

The regional and international developments, including the situation in Gaza, the Persian Gulf, and the Red Sea, were discussed and examined by both parties. Amir Abdollahian invited his counterpart to visit Tehran.

Meanwhile, Tehran Times reported on Wednesday that following the recent attack on U.S. troops in Jordan, the White House is confronted with a pivotal moment, wrestling with a spectrum of impractical options as it endeavors to reclaim lost prestige.

Amidst Western think tanks, U.S. political circles, and parliamentary discussions, a persistent call for a direct assault on Iran’s interests by Washington has ignited debates. Notably, publications like Politico and the Wall Street Journal advocate a daring strategy—sinking Iranian vessels in the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea.

Drawing parallels with history, certain think tanks reference former U.S. President Ronald Reagan’s actions against the Iranian Navy, portraying it as a necessary measure to safeguard U.S. interests.

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I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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