Reports detail deep Israeli concessions in hostage talks, including possible yearlong truce

While Israel expects the specific terms of the potential hostage release agreement to change in the coming days if Hamas shows interest in reaching a deal, one of the timelines under discussion is a 10-week pause in the fighting in exchange for 33 living hostages, an Israeli official tells The Times of Israel.

“Israel has gone above and beyond in showing flexibility to reach a deal,” says the official.

Israel is also open to the possibility of Palestinians moving back to northern Gaza without going through Israeli security checks. One of the possibilities under examination is Egypt being responsible for security checks, says the official, but nothing has been finalized.

Under no circumstances will Israel agree to declare an end to the war, the official stresses.

The Wall Street Journal, citing Egyptian officials, reports that a proposal that Israel helped draft, but has not yet endorsed, would include “the release of at least 20 hostages over three weeks for an unspecified number of Palestinian prisoners.”

The truce could then be extended for one hostage release per day.

It says a second phase would include a 10-week truce during which Israel and Hamas would discuss releasing more hostages and a pause in fighting for up to a year. Hamas was initially positive about that proposal, but balked over the fact that it does not end the war permanently, the WSJ reports.

Channel 12 reports that Israel is willing to release 900 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for between 20 and 33 hostages, which would translate to 27 to 45 prisoners per hostage.

This is beyond what Israel has previously offered. In March, it was willing to release 950 prisoners for 40 hostages, and in November, at the height of the ground campaign in Gaza, 240 prisoners were ultimately released for 105 hostages, 81 of whom were Israeli.

The Israeli official tells The Times of Israel that Jerusalem is expecting to hear an answer from Hamas on the latest offer on Wednesday night.

On the possibility of arrest warrants for Israeli officials being issued by the International Criminal Court, the official says that Israel “wants clarity from the ICC.”

“If it’s going to happen, we’d like to know,” says the official, adding that the US, not Israel, has been in direct contact with the ICC.

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