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Israeli official reveals US proposal for hostage-prisoner exchange with Hamas


NEW DELHI: The United States has proposed a plan regarding the release of jailed Palestinians by Israel in exchange for hostages freed by Hamas in potential Gaza truce talks, as per an Israeli official familiar with the discussions in Qatar.
The talks, facilitated by CIA director William Burns alongside Qatari and Egyptian officials, involve an Israeli delegation led by Mossad chief David Barnea.The negotiations revealed disagreements on the ratio of prisoners to be exchanged, prompting the US to offer a bridging proposal which Israel has agreed to, awaiting Hamas’ response.
No specifics of the US proposal were disclosed, and the US embassy in Israel refrained from immediate comments.
In the event of an agreement, Israel plans to halt its Gaza offensive for six weeks and retrieve hostages held by Hamas from a recent incident. Previous truces involved the release of jailed Palestinians for each freed hostage, with expectations now for the release of senior militants.
Hamas blames Israel for negotiation delays, citing the need to end military actions and allow displaced individuals to return. Meanwhile, Hamas reported the death of an Israeli hostage due to a lack of essentials, a claim Israel dismisses as part of psychological warfare.
Palestinian officials suggest that a truce deal is not imminent, attributing delays to Israel’s stance. Hamas insists on Israeli commitments to cease hostilities and withdraw forces from Gaza, which Israel rejects, aiming to dismantle Hamas in the long run.

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