The Washington Post cited a high-ranking Israeli official as saying that “Israel” and Hamas are nearing a prisoner swap deal, which may be announced “within days if final details are resolved.”
The Israeli official mentioned that the preliminary agreement “calls for Israeli women and children to be released in groups, simultaneously with Palestinian women and young people held in Israeli prisons.”
According to the official, the number of Palestinian women and youth to be released is not clear. However, the newspaper cited an Arab official as saying last week that there are at least 120 prisoners in Israeli jails.
The Israeli official indicated that “Israel” wants the release of all 100 women and children in Gaza, but the initial number is likely to be less, noting that a temporary ceasefire of about five days would accompany the swap deal.
“Israel wants confirmation that its people held captive, each identified by name, are being released as it exchanges the Palestinian prisoners. This process of verification is one of the details that officials were still negotiating Monday,” The Washington Post report pointed out.
The Washington Post said that US officials hope that an agreement to release prisoners and a temporary ceasefire “could reduce the international uproar surrounding the war,” affirming that “Israel” will not agree to end its aggression on Gaza.
The report noted that US President Joe Biden expressed strong support for a prisoner swap deal in a phone call on Sunday with the Emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, whose country played the role of mediator with Hamas.
According to the newspaper, Israeli negotiations with Hamas have taken place indirectly through Qatar.
Qatari Prime Minister Mohammad bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim al-Thani met on Thursday with CIA Director William Burns and Mossad chief David Barnea “to discuss the framework that now appears to be near a final package,” the report said.
Hamas’ Abu Obeida reveals possible Qatari-mediated prisoner swap
On Monday, the spokesperson for the al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Hamas movement, Abu Obeida, revealed that there are ongoing efforts by Qatari mediators to release Israeli captives in exchange for the release of 200 Palestinian children and 75 women.
Abu Obeida said the Israeli occupation requested the release of 100 women and children of its captives in Gaza.
“The mediators informed us that we can have a 5-day ceasefire, which includes releasing 50 women and children captured in Gaza,” the military spokesperson underlined.
“The ceasefire includes the release of a number of detainees in Gaza, cessation of hostilities, and allowing aid to enter the strip, but the enemy is still delaying it,” he added.
Moreover, Abu Obeida warned the Israeli occupation that continued air and ground aggression on Gaza inevitably jeopardizes the lives of the Israeli captives, revealing that an Israeli soldier by the name of Faul Azai Mark Asiani was killed at the hands of the Israeli occupation on November 9 as it was carrying out air raids on Gaza.