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Ceasefire talks hit roadblock as Hamas refuses to release 40 Israeli hostages

IANS | April 10, 2024 11:00 AM

TEL AVIV: The Cairo indirect peace talks between Israel and Hamas have again hit a roadblock after the latter refused to release 40 hostages as demanded by the Israeli side.

Hamas, according to Israel's defence ministry sources, has informed mediators that they don’t have 40 women and elderly hostages to be released. However, Israel has insisted that for any further continuation of ceasefire talks, a minimum of 40 hostages have to be released.

The Hamas side led by its political head Ismael Haniyeh informed the mediators, including Qatar and Egyptian leaders, that touching the figure of 40 would be difficult and that they may have to include healthy male hostages which was not agreeable.

Sources in Israel's defence ministry told IANS that there was a major division in the Hamas leadership regarding the release of hostages. The political bureau of Hamas led by Ismael Haniyeh was in agreement with an immediate ceasefire while the military side led by Yahya Sinwar and Mohammed Deif wanted a hard bargain or a total withdrawal of the Israeli military from the Gaza strip.

This, contradictory position of the Hamas leadership has led to the mediatory talks getting failed time and again, as per the sources in the Israel war cabinet and defence ministry.

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