As of late Wednesday – after terrorists released a video earlier this week of three elderly Israeli men held in Gaza, and their families’ demands grew more emotional and directed at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel has offered a pause in the war for at least one week to get at least three dozen more hostages returned.
It is the first move Israel has made since the collapse of the hostages for prisoners swap collapsed weeks ago after the seven-day ceasefire collapsed after the release of more than 100 hostages.
Hamas has said since the collapse that it will not resume negotiations as long as the fighting continues.
About 130 Israeli and foreign nationals are still being held in captivity. Eight Americans are part of those still in captivity.
U.S. CIA Director Bill Burns met with Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani and Israel’s Mossad Head David Barnea in Warsaw earlier this week to discuss a potential agreement.
Barnea has proposed that all of the remaining women held hostages be released, as well as men over 60 years of age, and any other hostages, who are sick, wounded and in need of medical care.
Israel would agree to a one-week temporary cease fire and consider the release of Palestinian prisoners convicted of more serious crimes than those who were released earlier.
The Qatari Prime Minister conveyed Hamas’ position that Israel had to stop its attacks before any hostage negotiations could begin.
Israel’s position is clear according to Barnea, who conveyed that if Hamas wants the war to stop, it must lay down its arms and turn over its leaders who masterminded the Oct. 7 attack.
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