'Best offer so far': Israel receives Hamas response to hostage deal proposal

Mossad says Jerusalem 'reviewing response and will reply to mediators in due course'; security officials say proposal 'provides basis to move forward'; however, some issues remain unresolved

Mediators have conveyed to the Israeli negotiation team Hamas' response to Jerusalem's hostage deal proposal, the Prime Minister's Office said Wednesday in a statement on behalf of Mossad, adding that Israel was "reviewing the response and will reply to the mediators in due course."
Israeli security officials said, "This is the best offer so far; it is a basis for progress." They noted that several issues have yet to be resolved, such as IDF presence on the Philadelphi Corridor on Gaza's southern end and a veto on the identities of prisoners to be released"
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נטלי צנגאוקר  הפגנה בצומת קפלן בתל אביב
נטלי צנגאוקר  הפגנה בצומת קפלן בתל אביב
Israelis protest in Tel Aviv for return of hostages
(Photo: EPA)
One security official added, "Hamas is moving toward the Biden framework, but the question is whether it will be enough for the Israeli Cabinet."
Hamas commented on the response they provided, claiming, "We exchanged some ideas with the mediators." Hussam Badran, a member of Hamas' political bureau, told Al Jazeera, "We are interested in reaching an agreement to end the war, and our communication with the mediators continues. We exchanged some ideas with the mediators to stop the war and ensure a comprehensive withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.
"Our communication with the mediators in Qatar and Egypt is ongoing, and Washington is exerting pressure in its own ways." Senior Hamas official Basem Naim told the Arab-American site Al-Monitor that "we responded with several ideas to bridge the gap and ensure an agreement on Gaza."
Earlier, the Prime Minister's Office issued a statement from a "senior security official" indicating that "Hamas continues to insist on a principle clause in the framework that would prevent Israel from resuming fighting after phase one of the plan, which is unacceptable to Israel. Other gaps still remain unresolved. Israel will continue the negotiations while maintaining military and diplomatic pressure to secure the release of all 120 hostages, both living and deceased." This statement was released after Israel received Hamas' response.
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בנימין נתניהו, יחיא סינוואר
בנימין נתניהו, יחיא סינוואר
Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
(Photo: IDF Spokesperson's Unit, Yonatan Sindel)
The families of the hostages welcomed the progress of the framework but warned that if the government derails the deal, "millions will take to the streets." The Hostages and Missing Families Forum said, "The families of the hostages commend the prime minister for advancing the 'Netanyahu deal.' However, given the statements from senior ministers, if the government thwarts the Netanyahu deal for the release of the hostages, there will be no choice but for millions of Israelis to take to the streets.
"The people of Israel repeatedly show in every poll that they support a comprehensive deal to bring back all the hostages. We will not allow ministers to sabotage another deal. This is an Israeli ethos and a supreme human value: no one is left behind.
"The government faces the ultimate moral test of its term: continued abandonment or decisive action for rescue and return. Full return of the hostages, or all citizens of Israel will take to the roads and intersections. We will not abandon the 120 hostages a second time."
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