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Hamas leader claims close to reaching truce agreement for hostage release

IANS | November 21, 2023 10:42 AM

TEL AVIV: Hamas's politburo leader Ismail Haniyeh on Tueday claimed that it militant group is “close to reaching a truce agreement” with Israel regarding the release of hostages captured on October 7 following the assault on the Jewish nation.

Haniyeh’s remarks came afterHamas communicated its desire for the truce to mediators in Qatar.

“The movement delivered its response to the brothers in Qatar and the mediators, and we are close to reaching a truce agreement, ” Haniyeh said.

The senior Hamas leader however, did not provide any other details on the said agreement.

According to the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), around 70 per cent of the militant group's top leadership has been killed in the military's ongoing ground offensive in Gaza.

But it is yet to be seen if Israel agrees for a truce, including the swapping of Palestinian prisoners.

The Israel government is also under pressure from the families of the hostages.

According to authorities, 237 people are held captive in Gaza, including Israelis and foreign nationals.

On Monday, the Israeli military spokesperson said that 40 of the hostages are children.

So far, four civilian hostages have been released by Hamas; one Israeli soldier was rescued by the forces; and three bodies of hostages have reportedly been retrieved.

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