Ceasefire Talks Between Israel, Hamas Stall Over Hostage Release Demand

Israeli ministers are considering opposing the current hostage-for-truce deal, fearing it may make future negotiations more challenging and seeking the release of all hostages.
  • Defensemirror.com bureau
  • 04:44 AM, April 10, 2024
  • 1077
Ceasefire Talks Between Israel, Hamas Stall Over Hostage Release Demand
Representative image

Negotiations for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas have hit a roadblock as Israel demands the release of 40 hostages as a crucial condition for the proposed truce.

Israeli television networks have reported on the impasse, revealing the contentious issue that has become a major point of contention in the ongoing discussions.

According to the reports, Israel has insisted that Hamas must release 40 living hostages as part of the ceasefire agreement. However, Hamas has countered that it lacks the capacity to meet Israel's specific criteria, claiming it does not possess 40 elderly, women, and female soldiers to release. Instead, Hamas has proposed to release male Israeli troops it currently holds but is reluctant to free any captured on October 7 and seeks to release fewer than the demanded 40 hostages.

The Kan public broadcaster described this issue as the primary obstacle in the negotiations, with Israeli officials stressing that the release of 40 hostages must occur during the initial phase of the proposed weeks-long ceasefire deal. Israeli sources have asserted that Hamas indeed holds 40 captives meeting the release criteria, accusing Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar of obstructing progress by opposing an agreement.

Simultaneously, the White House has denied any shift in policy after U.S. President Joe Biden's recent call for a six-to-eight-week ceasefire. Despite Biden's public urging for a ceasefire and humanitarian access to Gaza, a senior White House official clarified that this stance aligns with longstanding U.S. support for immediate ceasefire efforts and hostage release, emphasizing the administration's ongoing commitment to humanitarian concerns in the region.

In Israel, internal divisions have surfaced within the senior cabinet over the negotiation strategy. Some ministers are considering opposing the current hostage-for-truce deal, expressing concerns that it does not encompass the release of all captives held by Hamas. These ministers fear that future negotiations could prove even more challenging, advocating for significant concessions to secure the release of all hostages.

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