Israel has presented a proposal, facilitated by Qatari and Egyptian mediators, suggesting a potential two-month ceasefire to its military offensive against Hamas.
In return, Israel seeks a phased release of the remaining 136 hostages in Gaza. The proposal falls short of meeting Hamas’s demand for a complete end to the war but surpasses previous offers made by Israel.
According to Axios, two Israeli officials cited the offer, which was disclosed during White House Middle East czar Brett McGurk’s regional meetings with Egyptian and Qatari counterparts to advance a hostage deal.
Israel is awaiting Hamas’s response, expressing cautious optimism about potential progress in the coming days, according to The Times of Israel.
The reported Israeli proposal outlines releasing specific groups of hostages in stages, starting with children, women, men over 60, and critically ill individuals. Subsequent stages involve the release of female soldiers, men under 60 who are not soldiers, male soldiers, and the bodies of hostages.
The proposal suggests pre-agreement on the number of security prisoners to be released in each stage, followed by separate negotiations on the convicts’ names.
Additionally, the offer includes the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza’s main population centers and the gradual return of Palestinians to the northern part of the enclave. While Israel rejects a complete end to the war and the release of all 6,000 Palestinian security prisoners, officials indicate a willingness to release a significant number.