According to two Israeli officials, Israel has presented Hamas with a proposal through Egyptian and Qatari mediators that calls for a multi-phase agreement that would see the release of all hostages still held in Gaza in exchange for a two-month ceasefire.
The Monday proposal is the longest ceasefire Israel has offered to Hamas since the war began. According to reports, the proposal does not include an agreement to completely end the conflict.
If it is agreed upon, the deal would see the return of hostages, dead and alive, in stages.
According to officials, women and men over 60-years-old, and hostages in critical medical condition would be released in the first phase. The following phases would see female soldiers, men under the age of 60 who are not soldiers, Israeli male soldiers, and the bodies of hostages return back to Israel.
It’s reported that Israel has suggested that the total pause for the completion of the hostage releases in each of the phases could last up to two months.
Over 130 Israeli hostages are believed to still be held in Gaza. Israeli authorities have stated that since they were taken on October 7th, multiple hostages have died while being held captive. The exact number of hostages who are alive is not known.
In addition to a ceasefire with Gaza, the proposed agreement would require Israel and Hamas to agree ahead of time on the number of Palestinian prisoners that would be released for each Israeli hostage in each category.
Israeli officials also stated that as the agreement is being carried out, Israel would allow a gradual return of Palestinian civilians to Gaza City and to the northern Gaza Strip by redeploying Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) out of main population centers.
Israeli officials stated that the proposal makes it clear that Israel will not consent to an end of hostilities or to the release of all 6,000 Palestinian inmates from Israeli prisons. However, Israeli officials announced that they are ready to free a substantial number of Palestinian prisoners if Hamas agrees to the proposal.