Burning candles in the shape of a Star of David surround a slogan during a rally in Tel Aviv on Nov. 21, 2023, calling for the release of Israelis held hostage in the Gaza Strip since the Oct. 7 attack by Gaza militants. Hamas, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian armed group.
Ahmad Gharabli | AFP | fake images
A senior Israeli official on Tuesday outlined more details of a tentative hostage deal with Hamas, which members of the Israeli cabinet will reportedly vote on Tuesday night, according to NBC.
The source told NBC that the potential deal would free about 50 hostage women and children over the course of four days, during which time Israel would temporarily pause attacks to ensure the safe passage of the hostages. Israel would also agree to halt drone flights for a certain period of time each day, although the source said Israel believes it can maintain oversight of Gaza without them.
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Under the current work-in-progress agreement, the official confirmed that Israel would also release 150 Palestinian women and children prisoners who assisted in terrorist attacks but did not directly kill Israelis. Families of the convicted prisoners’ victims would have a 24-hour opportunity to appeal their release to Israel’s Supreme Court.
The 24-hour deadline to appeal means that any agreement that Israeli cabinet members may sign on Tuesday cannot take effect until Wednesday at the earliest.
Additionally, the official said Israel could agree to extend the temporary ceasefire to five days instead of four if Hamas frees 10 more hostages. Extending the ceasefire in exchange for more hostage releases could be an ongoing negotiating tactic to free all hostages, but the official said the sides would treat the release of the first 50 hostages as a test and evaluate based on there.
At this point, Israel is only negotiating for the Israeli hostages, according to the source. Other countries will have to hold their own talks with Hamas to free their respective hostages. The official noted that many of the American hostages have dual citizenship and therefore qualify as Israeli hostages.
Israeli and US officials, who have participated in the talks, have reiterated that any potential agreement could collapse at any time due to the especially sensitive and malleable nature of the terms.
“As you’ve heard us say several times over the past few weeks, nothing is final until everything is final. And at this point not everything is final yet,” the US State Department spokesperson said Tuesday. , Matthew Miller, at a press conference. conference.
The tentative deal, if finalized Tuesday, would come more than six weeks after the Hamas terrorist attack on Oct. 7, when the group took approximately 240 hostages from Israel. About 1,200 people were killed in the attack, which led Israel to invade the Gaza Strip and pledge to destroy the Palestinian militant group.
Since then only a very small number of hostages have been released or rescued, despite much talk of a possible release deal. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly said that Israel will not stop its ruthless military campaign against Hamas in the Gaza Strip until the hostages are freed.
— CNBC’s Katrina Bishop contributed to this report.