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This Is Where Hostage Negotiations with Hamas Stand and These Are Israel’s Red Lines

July 8, 2024

by: Ron Ben Yishai ~ Ynetnews

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The IDF will pull out of populated areas in Gaza during the agreed cease-fire guidelines with Hamas.

Monday, 8 July 2024 | Over the coming weeks, Israel and Hamas will conduct negotiations through mediators for a cease-fire in exchange for a hostage release. Here is what we know and can say and what is still in dispute and can derail the chances for an agreement.

The deal will comprise three phases lasting 42 days each and 132 days of a cease-fire in total.

The first, a humanitarian phase, will see the women hostages, female soldiers, wounded, children and the elderly freed in exchange for 600 prisoners who will be named by Hamas, with partial veto power for Israel. On day 16, negotiations for an end to the war will begin and continue into the second phase.

The Israel Defense Forces [IDF] will pull out of populated areas in Gaza and major thoroughfares, so that Gazans who fled the fighting would be able to return to their homes in northern Gaza. In this phase, the hostages will be freed in small groups and days apart, leaving leverage for Hamas to use if Israel fails to withdraw from areas in the agreement.

A critical question at this phase is who will control the distribution of humanitarian aid to Gaza residents and prevent Hamas from looting it, which in effect would determine who has civilian control over the area.

In the second phase, Hamas will release the men who are mostly young soldiers. There are an estimated 20 such hostages, and for their release, Israel will free prisoners according to a yet undetermined ratio. The negotiations for an end to the war will continue.

In the third phase, Hamas will return the bodies of murdered Israelis in exchange for an undetermined number of Palestinian prisoners and perhaps bodies as well. At this phase, and after 132 days, the temporary cease-fire will expire and, according to the Hamas demand, a permanent one—including an end to the current war—will come into effect.

Hamas hopes to prolong negotiations and hold on to some of the hostages—likely the men—until it can ensure an end to the war.

What the 132 days of the cease-fire would include will be decided in the negotiations, including whether Israel will conduct flyovers and if the IDF will be able to destroy Hamas tunnels it had uncovered. According to the outline of the deal, troops will remain along the Gaza border with Egypt and in the Netzarim corridor, but Hamas may demand that they withdraw.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would not cross certain red lines and laid out his conditions to any agreement:

  1. Any deal will allow Israel to resume fighting until all of the objectives of the war have been achieved.
  2. There will be no smuggling of weapons to Hamas from Egypt to the Gaza border.
  3. There will be no return of thousands of armed terrorists to the northern Gaza Strip.
  4. Israel will maximize the number of living hostages who will be released from Hamas captivity.
  5. The plan that has been agreed to by Israel and which has been welcomed by US President Joe Biden will allow Israel to return hostages without infringing on the other objectives of the war.

Posted on July 8, 2024

Source: (Excerpt of an article originally published by Ynetnews on July 8, 2024. Time-related language has been modified to reflect our republication today. See original article at this link.)

Photo Credit: IDF Spokesperson's Unit/

Photo License: Wikimedia