Hamas, Israel Pursue Tentative Deal To Release Hostages

While no statement from the Hamas terrorist group should be taken at face value, there is some cautious optimism surrounding recent remarks about hostage releases and a possible truce.

According to reports, Hamas Police Bureau leader Ismail Haniyeh announced on Tuesday that it was “close to reaching a truce agreement” with Israel following a deadly attack last month that prompted a war. He indicated that diplomats from Qatar and Egypt have been involved in establishing the terms of the agreement.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has also signaled a willingness to engage with the terrorist group provided that such negotiations result in the release of hostages taken captive by Hamas militants during the Oct. 7 attack.

Nevertheless, Netanyahu made it clear that his country’s primary objectives have not changed.

“The first goal is eliminating Hamas,” he said. “We are not stopping until this is carried out. The second goal is the return of the hostages. I do not think it is necessary to belabor the point, not even now, but I hope there will be good news soon.”

Some recent reports have included speculation that Hamas could agree to release at least some of the more than 200 hostages still being held in Gaza if Israel agrees to a five-day ceasefire. The Israel Government Press Office confirmed that Netanyahu had been in contact with the War Cabinet, Security Cabinet and other government officials to discuss “developments on the issue of the release of our hostages.”

Details have not been confirmed as of this writing, but sources say Hamas is tentatively prepared to release 13 women and 40 children if the temporary ceasefire is approved.
Of course, this is in no way an indication that Hamas is giving up on its foundational goal of eradicating the Jewish state. In fact, one top official in the organization recently asserted that additional attacks like the one staged last month will continue until Israel is defeated.

U.S. officials are also involved in brokering a possible deal to see the release of hostages — potentially in exchange for the release of terrorists being held in Israel. One Biden administration source explained over the weekend: “We’ve made some progress recently and have been working hard to advance this, but it remains a volatile situation.”