Hostage negotiations: new details from Reuters

Hostage negotiations: new details from Reuters

The United States has cautiously expressed hope for the success of ceasefire negotiations in the Gaza Strip. On Wednesday, John Kirby, the White House national security spokesman, said talks were moving in the right direction despite significant differences still remaining between the parties. This was reported by Reuters.He stressed that the main priority at the moment is to overcome existing differences.

Hamas agreement to US plan speeds up negotiations, but difficulties remain

An important step along this path was the agreement of the terrorist organization Hamas with key points of the US plan, including the refusal of the requirement for Israel to commit in advance to a permanent ceasefire before signing the agreement. This step significantly speeded up the negotiation process.

However, the process continues to be complex. One of the conditions proposed by Netanyahu for a future agreement is to prohibit the return of armed militants from the southern part of the Gaza Strip to the north. Under the plan, Israel is likely to maintain a presence in the Netzer corridor, which divides Gaza in two.

Israel demands guarantees from the United States that if Hamas begins to regain its strength in the north, Israel will be able to resume military operations. It is noted that the Rafah checkpoint will remain under the control of Palestinian Arabs, but without the participation of Hamas and without the flag of the Palestinian Authority.

Media reports that any agreement could cause serious political consequences for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, including the possible collapse of his government. This significantly complicates and delays the negotiation process.

New White House statement on prospect of ceasefire in Gaza

The US is expressing “cautious optimism” about negotiating a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip in exchange for hostages. This was confirmed by national security spokesman John Kirby from the White House, noting that differences between the parties can be minimized.

Asked how close a ceasefire agreement is, Kirby said: “We’re moderately optimistic that things are moving in the right direction.”

He added that there are still differences between the two sides, which he believes can be overcome. Currently, Brett McGurk and CIA Director Bill Burns are actively working on this.

Yesterday, Defense Minister Yoav Galant said IDF troops operating in Gaza had opened a “limited window of opportunity” for Israel to reach an agreement with Hamas and free 120 hostages held by the terrorist group.

At the graduation ceremony at the Israel National Defense College, Yoav Galant emphasized that thanks to decisive security measures, conditions were created for the release of the hostages.

“We see limited ability to fulfill our moral and ethical obligation to return the hostages,” he said. “The terms of the deal that will be created contribute to our national interests and security. Regarding possible risks, the IDF and the security forces are ready to overcome them.”

He also noted that the hostage agreement, combined with a military operation in Gaza to weaken Hamas, was the “right, worthy and necessary” step.

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