US-Qatar-brokered hostage-release talks have finally shown signs of progress amid intense Hamas-Israeli fighting in the Palestinian Gaza Strip. Israel’s ambassador to the United States signaled a brief ceasefire with Hamas on Sunday after weeks of indirect talks. He said, a significant number of hostages are expected to be released in the coming days in return for a brief ceasefire.
On October 7, Hamas, the ruling armed group of Gaza, crossed the border and attacked the southern part of Israel. On that day, Hamas entered Israel by land, air and sea, killing thousands of Israelis and taking more than 242 Israelis and foreign citizens hostage in Gaza. After this attack, Israel launched an intense attack on Gaza. Air strikes were launched first, followed by air strikes as well as ground strikes. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced that the war will continue until Hamas is eliminated from the Gaza Strip.
Israel’s military says Israeli tanks and troops stormed Gaza late last month, taking control of large areas north and northwest of Gaza City and east.
But Hamas and local witnesses say Hamas fighters are waging a guerrilla-style war in the densely populated north, including parts of Gaza City, large areas of Jabalia and the Beech refugee camp.
Despite Israel’s ground offensive in Gaza, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Michael Herzog, said in an interview on ABC News’ “This Week” that Israel is hopeful that a significant number of hostages will be released from Hamas “in the next few days.”
Earlier, a report by the British news agency Reuters on November 15 said that Qatari mediators wanted to reach an agreement between Israel and Hamas on the condition of releasing 50 hostages in exchange for a three-day break in the Gaza Strip. A Qatari official familiar with the talks said it would be possible to provide emergency relief aid to civilians in Gaza during the ceasefire.
China wants to help restore peace in the Middle East China wants to help restore peace in the Middle East He said at the time that Israel and Hamas had agreed to a general outline of the ceasefire. But Israel is still negotiating the details of the deal. Speaking to reporters on Sunday, US President Joe Biden said, “I am not in a position to say when the hostages can be freed.”
He said, ‘I want to make sure that they will be released and then I will tell you this information. Joe Biden made these comments while participating in an event with members of the US military in Virginia.
(Dhaka Times/20 November/AR)