What does Hamas’ proposal for a 135-day truce in Gaza include? | News

In a proposal submitted to mediators in Qatar – and seen by Al Jazeera – Hamas outlined plans for a truce with Israel in Gaza, raising hopes for an end to the war after 124 days of bombing and ground invasion of the Strip.

At least 27,585 people have been killed and 66,978 injured in Israeli attacks on Gaza since 7 October. Thousands more were lost under the rubble and presumed dead. Fears are growing about a military ground invasion of Rafah, the last city standing in the Strip, which is home to 1.4 million displaced people.

The peace plan launched by Hamas, which it describes as “reasonable and realistic,” was presented in response to proposals sent last week by Qatari and Egyptian mediators who are negotiating with Israel and the United States as part of a high-level diplomatic push to end the war.

In its plan, Hamas proposed a three-stage truce process that would see the release of hostages and prisoners on both sides. Each phase will last for 45 days, according to the plan.

Officials said that Israel has not yet responded to Hamas’ proposal, although “its details are subject to a comprehensive evaluation.” However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and senior Israeli officials have repeatedly stated that Israeli forces will not be asked to withdraw until Hamas is “destroyed.”

This is what Hamas proposes:

The first stage:

In the first 45 days, Hamas proposes to release all Israeli female prisoners taken hostage by the movement on October 7. Male prisoners under the age of 19 who are not members or conscripts of the Israeli armed forces, the elderly and the sick will be released. They will also be released. It is unclear how many of the more than 100 prisoners known to be alive fit these categories.

In return, Hamas wants Israel to release 1,500 Palestinians detained in Israeli prisons, including all women, children and the elderly. There were about 5,200 Palestinians behind bars In Israel until October 2023, including 33 children and 170 women.

Among the Palestinian prisoners to be released, there should be 500 people currently serving life sentences and other extended sentences.

Hamas is also demanding that at least 500 humanitarian aid and fuel trucks be allowed to enter Gaza daily. It called for the provision of 60,000 temporary homes and 200,000 tents, and stipulated the necessity of allowing displaced Palestinians in Gaza to return freely to their homes, without any barriers, in the context of a mutual temporary truce. Hamas did not specify the source of funding for the homes and tents.

In addition, the group wants all crossings into the Gaza Strip to be opened, and for Gazans in need of medical care to be able to travel freely outside the Strip. She adds that at this stage talks could begin about the requirements for a “full truce.”

The second phase:

In the next phase, which also lasts for 45 days, Hamas says it will release all remaining male Israeli prisoners, and in return Israeli forces will withdraw from all areas of Gaza.

At this point, Hamas says, more humanitarian aid must be allowed into Gaza, while rebuilding damaged infrastructure must begin.

It is necessary to agree to talk about the requirements of a “complete truce” and return to a “state of calm” before starting the next stage.

third level:

Finally, Hamas suggests that both sides release any bodies or remains at this stage, after due identification procedures.

Any humanitarian measures agreed upon in the first and second phases must also continue.

What else is in the proposal?

Hamas says that each stage of the calm must be completed before the next stage begins.

The group also says Israel must facilitate the full reconstruction of destroyed homes in Gaza, as well as public facilities and other economic infrastructure within three years.

Hamas also calls on Israeli settlers to stop attacking Al-Aqsa Mosque, and to return the situation in the mosque to what it was before 2002. It is unclear what conditions Hamas is referring to. However, in 2002, during the Second Intifada, which was sparked by former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s visit to Al-Aqsa, Israeli forces suppressed Palestinians under Operation Defensive Shield.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, Hamas spokesman Muhammad Nazzal said that the movement wants Qatar, Egypt, the United States, Turkey and Russia to act as “guarantors” to ensure the correct implementation of the terms of the deal, if approved. But he added that the group was not prepared to negotiate the terms of the proposal.

“Among these details, none of them can be touched upon,” Nazzal said. “The Israeli killing machine must be stopped. We hope to see the complete withdrawal of the Israeli occupation forces from the Gaza Strip. Our response is realistic and our demands are reasonable.”

“Once (the plan) gets underway, any obstacles along the way can be overcome to reach a final agreement where we can put the dots on the letters and move beyond them.”

Will Israel agree to the deal?

Mossad, Israel’s foreign intelligence agency, is currently evaluating the proposal, Israeli authorities said. There is no set timeline for a response.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday while negotiations were ongoing, US President Joe Biden called the proposal “a little bit over the top.”

However, Secretary of State Antony Blinken is currently in Israel and is set to try to convince Israeli leaders to accept the truce. On his fifth visit to the region since the beginning of the war, Blinken will meet with Army Commander Netanyahu Herzi HalevyMinister of Defense Yoav Galant The Israeli president, Isaac Herzog.

Blinken will also hold talks with the Palestinian President. Mahmoud Abbas.

Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman bin Jassim Al Thani met with Blinken on Tuesday. After the announcement, he told reporters that Hamas’ proposal was “generally positive.” Egyptian officials told Reuters that Hamas’ response showed “flexibility” and that their negotiators would press for an agreement.

Although not part of the negotiations, Saudi Arabia on Wednesday called for the establishment of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders with the capital of East Jerusalem, as a condition before it agrees to recognize the Israeli state and “normalize” relations — a scenario that the United States is pushing for. Postpone it. . The Palestinians, including Hamas, have long sought to establish a state in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and the East Jerusalem territories occupied by Israel in 1967.

Hussein Haridi, former Egyptian Foreign Minister, told Al Jazeera that Israel may try to water down some aspects of the proposal, but the mediating parties will try to push for a compromise to reach an agreement.

Haridi said that the Qatari reaction (to the deal) was somewhat positive. “I think Secretary of State Blinken will try to resolve things in Israel. One thing is certain now – the US is eager for a pause as soon as possible.

But Al Jazeera correspondent Rory Challands said that Israel may not agree to a truce agreement yet. He added that Israeli public opinion strongly supports Netanyahu’s position on continuing the war and could hinder peace talks.

“There is broad agreement – certainly at the top level, at the elite level – that the war will not end as a result of any ceasefire agreement,” Challand said. “This is the main stumbling block in this agreement. It looks at this moment (like) that we will return to the negotiating table.

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