Cautious optimism after agreements reached on hostage deal, official

Outline to be presented to war cabinet for approval before being discussed in broader cabinet; Hamas sources tell Saudi press terror group willing to compromise on number of prisoners released and extend of troop withdrawal
An Israeli official said on Saturday that an outline was agreed for a deal to secure the release of Israeli hostages held by Hamas, in the talks in Paris and it is to be presented to the war cabinet for approval before being brought to the larger forum of cabinet ministers.
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The next phase of negotiations will include agreement on which hostages would be freed as well as which Palestinian prisoners currently serving sentences in Israeli jails, would be released. There will also be an agreement on how the exchange would be carried out and the terms of a cease-fire, the official said.
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עבאס כאמל ראש המודיעין הכללי של מצרים, מוחמד אל-תאני ראש ממשלת קטאר, רונן בר, דדי ברנע, ויליאם ברנס
עבאס כאמל ראש המודיעין הכללי של מצרים, מוחמד אל-תאני ראש ממשלת קטאר, רונן בר, דדי ברנע, ויליאם ברנס
Abbas Kamel, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani , William Burns, David Barnea, Ronen Bar
(Photo: EPA, AP, Karim Jaafar / AFP, Yariv Katz, Yair Sagi)
Hamas was willing to compromise on the duration of the cease-fire, the number of prisoners freed in the initial phase of the deal and the extent of an Israeli withdrawal of forces in Gaza, according to a report in the Saudi Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, quoting Hamas sources in the know.
The source told the paper that the Hamas leadership did not reject a pause in the fighting for just six weeks, for each phase of the agreement, if the mediators would ultimately be able to deliver and end to the war.
The terror group was also willing to back down from the demand of a full withdrawal of IDF troops from the Strip for insists that forces leave city centers, so that displaced Gazans would be able to return home.
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תיעוד מפעילות כוחות צה"ל ברצועה
תיעוד מפעילות כוחות צה"ל ברצועה
IDF troops in Gaza
(Photo: IDF)
Hamas first demanded that 1,500 Palestinian prisoners be freed in the first phase, in exchange for the release from captivity of 40 Israeli hostages, there too some compromise was made.
According to the report, the Egyptian mediators informed Hamas leaders during their talks in Cairo, that Israel agreed to the return of Gaza residents to the northern part of the Strip and that the IDF would remove roadblocks on the roads from north to south.
The mediators in Qatar and Egypt expressed cautious optimism ahead of the talks in Paris on Friday and did not dismiss a possible breakthrough in negotiations in the coming week.
In an interview for the Qatari Al Araby channel on Saturday, Mohammad Nazzal, a member of the Hamas political bureau said that the coming hours will determine whether a cease-fire comes into effect before the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. Hamas was reviewing the results of the Paris talks both in and outside Gaza.
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קידוש וארוחת שבת כמו בשבי בכיכר החטופים - רבע פיתה וכף גבינה
קידוש וארוחת שבת כמו בשבי בכיכר החטופים - רבע פיתה וכף גבינה
Families of hostages hold vigil in Tel Aviv
(Photo: Dana Kopel)
During the talks, Mossad Chief David Barnea met separately with CIA chief William Burns, Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani and Egyptian intelligence chief Abbas Kamel, in addition to the meetings of the wider Israeli delegation with the mediators.
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