Progress in Hostage Talks as Hamas Gives Up on Ending War

2024-02-24 20:17:07

Israeli sources reported progress in talks in Paris, France, this weekend over a release of hostages by Hamas in exchange for a temporary pause in fighting, as the Palestinian terrorist groups appeared to back down from demands for an end to the war.

The rough outline of the deal appears to involve a six-week pause in fighting, accompanied by the release of 35-40 hostages, with Israel releasing some 300 or so Palestinian terror convicts, and redeploying some of its forces within Gaza, though not leaving.

Hamas still holds some 134 Israeli hostages, several dozen of whom are thought to be dead. Over 100 hostages — mostly women and children — were released during a week-long truce in November, which Hamas broke, leading to a resumption of fighting.

Since then, Israel has destroyed much of what was left of Hamas, save for a few battalions, which are concentrated in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, near the Egyptian border. Israel also successfully rescued two hostages in Rafah earlier this month.

Hamas has rejected any further hostage deal unless Israel ends the war and leaves Gaza. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has refused to consider ending the war, reiterating that Israel will not allow Hamas to survive after the war, militarily or politically.

Negotiators left Paris on an optimistic note, with the focus shifting to Qatar, where Hamas’s billionaire leaders live a luxurious life in exile. Israel has set a deadline of March 10 — the start of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan — for concluding a hostage deal.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent book, “The Zionist Conspiracy (and how to join it),” now available on Audible. He is also the author of the e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.

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Progress in Hostage Talks as Hamas Gives Up on Ending War


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