Hamas chief suggests near completion of truce deal with Israel

| Updated: 21 November, 2023 5:34 pm IST

NEW DELHI: Hamas’ leader Ismail Haniyeh said on Tuesday that the Palestinian militant group was near a truce agreement with Israel, even as the deadly assault on Gaza continued and rockets were being fired into Israel, as reported by international news outlet Reuters.

Haniyeh stated that Hamas has provided its response to Qatari mediators. Hamas officials are “close to reaching a truce agreement” with Israel and the group has delivered its response to Qatari mediators, Haniyeh said in a statement sent to Reuters by his aide. Qatar has been mediating with Hamas while also negotiating with Israel and the US, reportedly for the release of hostages held by the Palestinian militant group in Gaza in exchange for a ceasefire.

Meanwhile, a Hamas official told the international media outlet Al Jazeera TV that negotiations primarily focused on the duration of the truce, arrangements for delivering aid to Gaza, and the exchange of Israeli hostages held by Hamas for Palestinian prisoners in Israel.

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Both sides are expected to release women and children, with further details to be announced by Qatar, the mediating party, said the official, Issat el Reshiq. Notably, during its October 7 incursion into Israel, Hamas took approximately 240 hostages, resulting in 1,200 casualties. Following the attack, Israel immediately got into action and declared ‘war’ against Hamas.

India has welcomed efforts for humanitarian pauses in the Israel-Hamas conflict as well as efforts by the international community aimed at de-escalation and delivery of urgent humanitarian assistance to the people of Palestine.

Speaking at the informal meeting of the plenary in the UN General Assembly on a briefing on the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, India’s Permanent Representative to the UN Ambassador Ruchira Kamboj on Monday stressed that the message from the Indian leadership has been “clear and consistent”.

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