5:00 PM ET, November 19, 2023
Sources say negotiators are nearing a deal for the initial release of dozens of hostages held in Gaza.
From CNN’s Alex Marquardt and MJ Lee
Ahmed Garabli/AFP/Getty Images
A recent draft of a potential agreement Secure the release of the hostages It is proposing a four- to five-day pause in fighting for the early release of 50 hostages held by Hamas in Gaza, two sources familiar with the negotiations told CNN.
An agreement has yet to be reached, and the text of an agreement has been traded back and forth for weeks. But negotiators from various countries, including senior officials in the administration of US President Joe Biden Expresses rare confidence About progress.
While talks may still break down and there are sticking points, sources say a deal is now days away.
In a sign of how fragile the talks have been, two sources told CNN Hamas has recently abruptly suspended talks over various objections, one of which is an attack by Israel. Al-Shifa Hospital In Gaza. But the debates eventually resurfaced.
Sticking Points: There are still more details about the aid, with Israel expressing concern that aid may go to Hamas rather than civilians. Hamas initially requested 500 trucks of aid per day, a source said. While discussions are ongoing, a deal involving more than 200 trucks will be logistically challenging, a source said.
There are also questions about how to inspect trucks and which entry points to use. This aid included fuel and cooking oil for bakeries, and continued to flow after the initial pauses for hostages.
Staggered releases: More recent discussions have included plans to release hostages, with sources suggesting that delays will increase after the initial release of a significant number of civilians.
Israel has submitted a list of about 100 civilian hostages it wants to include in the deal, a source told CNN. Israel has publicly demanded the release of all hostages.
Hamas has indicated it is ready to release 50 hostages in a multi-day truce. And the hostages, about 20 to 25, may be released later as the holdups lengthen.
Hamas has said it needs a pause in the fighting to bring together hostages held in different locations in Gaza and by different Hamas-allied groups.
The US National Security Council and the Israeli Embassy in the US declined to comment for this story. Qatar’s embassy in the US did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
CNN’s Priscilla Alvarez reported for this post.