Axios reported that Israel proposed Hamas a two-month ceasefire in exchange for all of the hostages plus Palestinian prisoners.
It would be a “phased release.”
No matter what, a ceasefire would allow Hamas to survive, especially once the Palestinian prisoners return.
Don’t forget Yahya Sinwar, the head of Hamas in Gaza. Israel arrested and prosecuted him in 1988. He spent two decades learning about his “enemy.”
But then Israel released Sinwar in a prisoner swap.
What a mistake. Israel has already swapped prisoners for hostages. I wonder if another Sinwar was in those groups or will be in future groups.
Hamas still has over 130 hostages in Gaza. Who knows how many are still alive:
Behind the scenes: Two Israeli officials said the Israeli war cabinet approved ten days ago the parameters of a new proposal for a hostage deal, which are different from past aspects of deals rejected by Hamas and more forward-leaning than previous Israeli proposals.
- Israeli officials said they are waiting for a response from Hamas but stressed they are cautiously optimistic about the ability to make progress in the coming days.
- According to the proposal, the deal would include the release of all remaining hostages who are alive and the return of the bodies of dead hostages in several phases. The first phase would see the release of women, men over the age of 60 years old and hostages who are in critical medical condition, the officials said.
- The next phases would include the release of female soldiers, men under the age of 60 years old who are not soldiers, Israeli male soldiers and the bodies of hostages.
Israel stated it would not release the 6,000 Palestinian prisoners. But the two sides would talk over how many prisoners Hamas would get for every hostage.
Israel has come under intense pressure from the families of the hostages.
Some people stormed into a parliament meeting, demanding action to bring home their loved ones:
“We came to make our voices heard,” Noa Rahamim, whose cousin Sgt. Matan Angrest is being held in Gaza, told The Times of Israel.
“Every day they die there and every day it is announced that another hostage was killed. It simply can’t go on like that and we came to the Knesset [to demand] that they get up and do something. Nobody will silence us.”
“Is it reasonable that 260 trucks of flour are entering Gaza now and my brother is eating nothing?” asked Angrest’s sister Adi. “It doesn’t make any sense that my brother isn’t eating anything when they bring them 260 trucks of flour.”
“אתם לא תשבו כאן ולנו מתים הילדים שלנו!” – משפחות החטופים התפרצו לוועדת הכספים בדרישה להשיב את החטופים: “מה עם פדיון שבויים?” pic.twitter.com/dypLHW8pNC
— ערוץ כנסת (@KnessetT) January 22, 2024
On Sunday night, family members and protesters set up tents outside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s home in Jerusalem:
Shay Binyamin, the daughter of 53-year-old Ron Binyamin, who was kidnapped to Gaza during a bike ride on October 7 near Kibbutz Be’eri, said she is fed up with begging the government for the hostages’ return, and is now demanding a deal.
“All the time we hear about more abductees who were murdered as if we are in Russian roulette. I can’t just wait every day to hear which of the hostages has been executed,” she said.
Jon Polin, the father of Israeli-American hostage Hersh Goldberg-Polin, taken by Hamas, gave a speech in English about the government and prime minister’s failure to protect their citizenry on October 7, when thousands of terrorists from Gaza went on a killing spree across southern Israel, overrunning military bases and communities and killing about 1,200 people, mostly civilians. The terrorists also took 253 hostages to Gaza, according to an official government count.
“All of us as citizens have a contract with the country,” said Polin. “In exchange for our service and taxes, we expect the government to keep us safe, and this government and prime minister totally failed us.”
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