Hamas proposes 135-day three-stage ceasefire to end war

Hamas has proposed a ceasefire plan aimed at silencing the conflict in Gaza for 135 days, potentially marking the end of the ongoing war.

Publication: 07.02.2024 - 11:21
Hamas proposes 135-day three-stage ceasefire to end war
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This proposal, responding to a suggestion by Qatari and Egyptian mediators supported by the United States and Israel, outlines a phased approach over four-and-a-half months, as detailed in a document reviewed by Reuters.

The plan unfolds in three 45-day stages, starting with a prisoner exchange: militants would release the remaining Israeli hostages captured on October 7 in exchange for Palestinian prisoners. It also calls for the commencement of Gaza's reconstruction, the complete withdrawal of Israeli forces, and the exchange of bodies and remains.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken's recent arrival in Israel, following discussions with Qatari and Egyptian leaders, signifies a significant diplomatic effort towards achieving an extended truce. The specifics of Hamas's counterproposal have not been widely disclosed until now.

In the initial 45-day phase, according to Hamas's plan, all Israeli hostages, including women, males under 19, the elderly, and the sick, would be released in exchange for Palestinian women and children held in Israeli prisons.

The second phase would see the release of the remaining male hostages, with the exchange of remains scheduled for the final phase. Hamas anticipates that this process will culminate in an agreement to conclude the war. Additionally, the group has requested the release of 1,500 prisoners, selecting a third of these from a list of Palestinians serving life sentences in Israel.

This ceasefire proposal also aims to enhance the delivery of food and other essentials to Gaza's civilians, who are currently grappling with hunger and severe shortages of basic supplies.

Israel initiated its military offensive in Gaza following a deadly attack by militants from the Hamas-controlled region on southern Israel on October 7, resulting in 1,200 deaths and 253 hostages. According to Gaza's Health Ministry, the Israeli campaign has led to at least 27,585 Palestinian fatalities, with thousands more potentially trapped under debris.

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