Hamas Leader Says ‘close’ to Truce Agreement with Israel

KABUL (BNA) The leader of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, said a truce agreement with Israel may be close, raising hopes of both a pause in the Israeli offensive in Gaza and the exchange of at least some of the Israeli hostages.

The statement gave no more details, but a Hamas official told Al Jazeera TV that negotiations were centred on how long the truce would last, arrangements for delivery of aid into Gaza and the exchange of Israeli hostages held by Hamas for Palestinian prisoners in Israel.

Both sides would free women and children and details would be announced by Qatar, which is mediating in the negotiations, said the official, Issat el Reshiq.

Israel has generally avoided giving commentary on the status of the Qatar-led talks.

Israel’s Channel 12 television quoted an unidentified senior government source saying “they are close” but giving no further details.


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