Israel-Hamas war, Gaza hostage release and sustained cessation proposal


The full Hamas response to a proposal for a ceasefire and the delivery of humanitarian aid in exchange for the release of hostages held in Gaza proposes three phases, each lasting 45 days. 

CNN has obtained a copy of Hamas’ response, which senior Hamas official Muhammad Nazzal confirmed was genuine.

Here’s a breakdown of each phase:

Phase one would include the release of Israeli hostages, including women and children (under 19 years old) “who are not enlisted, as well as the elderly and the sick, in exchange for a specific number of Palestinian prisoners,” Hamas said.

It would also include “intensifying humanitarian aid, relocating forces outside populated areas, allowing the start of reconstruction works for hospitals, houses, and facilities in all areas of the Gaza Strip, and allowing the United Nations and its agencies to provide humanitarian services and establish housing camps for the population.”

The first phase would also include a “temporary cessation of military operations and aerial reconnaissance, and the withdrawal of Israeli forces away from populated areas in the Gaza Strip to be parallel to the separation line, in order to facilitate the exchange of detainees.”

Phase two would see the “completion of (indirect) talks on the requirements necessary for the continuation of the mutual cessation of military operations and the return to a state of complete calm.”

This phase would aim for the release of all male hostages held in Gaza (civilians and enlisted personnel) “in exchange for a specified number of Palestinian prisoners, continuing the humanitarian measures of the first phase, the withdrawal of Israeli forces outside the borders of all areas of the Gaza Strip, and the comprehensive reconstruction of houses, facilities, and infrastructure that were destroyed in all areas of the Gaza Strip.”

Remember: Israel has repeatedly said it will not withdraw troops from Gaza until a complete victory over Hamas and other militant groups in the territory.

Phase three would aim “to exchange bodies and remains of the deceased on both sides after their arrival and identification,” while humanitarian aid and reconstruction continue.

Finally, Hamas proposes that the guarantors of the agreement would be Egypt, Qatar, Turkey, Russia and the United Nations. It does not include the US among the guarantors.


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