Israel seeks ceasefire with Hamas for hostage release, resumption of military actions anticipated

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16th April 2024 – (Gaza) Israel is actively pursuing a ceasefire arrangement with Hamas, aiming to facilitate the release of Israeli hostages before potentially intensifying military efforts in the Gaza Strip, stated Ezzat al-Rishq, a senior figure within Hamas’ political bureau.

In communications disclosed to Xinhua, al-Rishq conveyed that Israel’s strategy involves securing a temporary truce to free its captives, only to potentially restart military operations thereafter. He highlighted the ineffectiveness of Israel’s previous attempts to liberate hostages by force, underscoring the necessity for a substantive agreement with the Palestinian resistance.

Al-Rishq reiterated Hamas’ stance, insisting on a complete cessation of hostilities as the sole measure to safeguard the Palestinian populace from further violence and atrocities. He further advocated for the full withdrawal of Israeli forces and the unimpeded return of displaced Palestinians to their residences.

Diplomatic efforts to broker a ceasefire and prisoner exchange are being facilitated by Qatar and Egypt, with additional involvement from the United States. These negotiations aim to stabilize the situation and secure an agreement between the conflicting parties.

Current figures released indicate that approximately 134 Israelis remain captive within Gaza. In contrast, Hamas has declared that 70 hostages have perished due to Israeli airstrikes. On the Palestinian side, over 9,000 individuals are detained in Israeli facilities, with some fatalities reported since the conflict’s escalation on 7th October, 2023, as per the Israeli human rights organization HaMoked.