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Israel hints at progress in Gaza truce talks with Hamas amid conflict

Benjamin Netanyahu says Israeli offensive in Rafah may be delayed if Israel-Hamas cease-fire deal reached.
Israel hints at progress in Gaza truce talks with Hamas amid conflict
Posted at 5:28 PM, Feb 25, 2024

A temporary truce between Israeli and Hamas forces is inching its way towards possibly being reached.

Mediators working to negotiate a weeks-long cease-fire between Israel and Hamas say they're making progress.

White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan confirms that the U.S., Egypt, Qatar, and Israel have come to an understanding of a potential hostage deal in exchange for a temporary ceasefire, but the deal is still under negotiation.

"I'm not going to go into the specifics of that because it is still under negotiation in terms of hammering out the details of it. There will have to be indirect discussions by Qatar and Egypt with Hamas because ultimately, they will have to agree to release the hostages,” said Sullivan.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says a cease-fire would only delay operational plans in Rafah, including the evacuation of more than one million civilians who have sought refuge there.

“Once we begin the Rafah operation, the intense phase of the fighting is weeks away from completion. Not months," Netanyahu told CBS. “If we don’t have a deal, we’ll do it anyway.” 

SEE MORE: WHO gains access to a Gaza hospital, reporting dire conditions

Thousands of people swarmed in on a protest in Tel Aviv demanding the release of hostages held by Hamas on Saturday.

"It makes me sick that you have had to beg the people whose job it is to bring them home,” said actor Michael Rapaport.

Palestinian militants kidnapped nearly 250 hostages during the attack on Israel in October, and more than 100 hostages were freed in a November deal.

On Sunday, the Israeli military announced that 19-year-old Oz Daniel, an Israeli soilder who was taken hostage by Hamas, died in captivity, and his body is still being held by Hamas.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health, which is run by Hamas, says at least 86 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza in the 24 hours leading up to Sunday morning; With the total number of deaths nearing 30,000 since the Oct. 7 attack.

The Israeli Defense Forces say 239 of its soldiers have been killed.

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