Israel-Gaza War, Hostage Deal

Hostage deal in the works? Israel says Hamas has dropped some of its demands

During the meeting in Paris, several conditions were drawn for a new outline in a hostage deal, including the release of captives in exchange for hundreds of terrorists. The War Cabinet will meet to discuss further talks.

Protests for hostage release deal (Photo: Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)

During a meeting of Israeli and Arab representatives in Paris yesterday (Friday) for the purpose of reaching an outline to a hostage release, it appears that Hamas dropped some of its demands, but that the parties remain far from an agreement.

According to conditions that emerged during the talks, the release of about 40 hostages - women, elderly, and the sick - will be carried out in exchange for hundreds of terrorists imprisoned in Israel. Israel has apparently agreed to release terrorists who have conducted more serious crimes than it had in previous deals.

There is also talk of a six-week pause in fighting. According to a foreign source, Israel is willing to discuss releasing some of the terrorists freed in the Shalit deal of 2011 (in which a total of 1,027 terrorists were released in return for kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit) who have been re-arrested by the IDF. Israel will also show significant flexibility in humanitarian issues - both regarding the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip and the return of residents to northern Gaza. However, it will not commit to putting an immediate halt to the operation.

A senior political official stated that: "We are still far from a deal, but Hamas has dropped some of its demands following the hardening of Prime Minister Netanyahu's stance." The War Cabinet will meet tonight to hear a report from the Israeli side and approve or reject the continuation of talks.

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