Israel Proposes Two-Month Gaza Ceasefire in Hostage Deal

Israel has reportedly proposed a two-month ceasefire in Gaza as part of a hostage deal, conveyed through Qatari and Egyptian mediators, according to Axios. The deal, outlined in stages, would commence with the release of specific groups, such as women, men over 60, and those in critical medical condition. Subsequent phases involve the release of different categories of hostages, including soldiers and civilians, with an undetermined number of Palestinian prisoners in Israel also set to be released. Although the proposal doesn’t guarantee an end to the conflict, it includes plans for reducing Israeli troop presence in major Gaza cities and allowing residents to return to the devastated northern territory. The implementation of the deal is anticipated to take approximately two months.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has hinted at the proposal in a meeting with hostages’ families, as reported by Israeli outlet Ynet. Meanwhile, the White House’s Middle East coordinator, Brett McGurk, is said to be in the region, engaging in discussions in Egypt and Qatar to secure a new hostage exchange deal. The hostage situation stems from Hamas’s attacks on October 7, resulting in around 250 hostages, with approximately 132 still in Gaza, including the bodies of 28 deceased hostages. In response, Israel launched an offensive that claimed the lives of at least 25,295 people in Gaza, with a significant percentage being women, children, and adolescents, according to data from Hamas-run Gaza’s health ministry.