Negotiations for a hostage release agreement for the Israeli hostages and a cease-fire in Gaza finally seem to be on the right track, even though, as former intelligence officer Raphael Jerusalmy told i24NEWS, "Hamas is used to saying 'yes,' then 'but.'" The terrorist group particularly refuses an independent foreign Arab presence governing Gaza after the war, "which could represent a significant drawback" to any deal.

Aong the points on which the two parties agree is the timing of the release of the Israeli hostages. A high-ranking Hamas source said on Saturday that the revised proposal provided for talks for the release of the Israeli hostages, including soldiers and "young and healthy" men, to begin within a period of 16 days after the start of the first phase of the agreement.

The mediators also guaranteed a temporary ceasefire, the delivery of aid, and the withdrawal of Israeli troops as long as the indirect talks continued during the first phase, which is expected to last six weeks, and the transition to the second phase of the agreement.... Read More: i24