Discussions are underway between the United States, Israel, and Hamas about an agreement that could lead to a first truce in this conflict and the release of dozens of hostages.
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The Washington Post first reported on Saturday evening that an agreement had been reached between the two parties regarding a five-day truce and the release of more than 50 hostages, but the White House spokeswoman quickly indicated in a post on the X website (formerly Twitter) that discussions were ongoing. Still ongoing.
“We have not yet reached an agreement, but we continue to work hard to reach an agreement,” says White House National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson.
According to information from the Washington Post, citing sources familiar with the matter, the agreement facilitated by the United States will be 6 pages long.
All parties agree to a cessation of hostilities for at least five days, while 50 hostages are released at the beginning of this truce, and others are released in small groups every 24 hours.
This potential pause would also allow sustained humanitarian access to the Gaza Strip from Egypt via the Rafah border crossing.
A potential truce could have a significant impact on the security of Gazans, according to François Audet, director of the Canadian Crisis and Humanitarian Observatory at UQAM.
“This will be a giant step to protect civilians,” he said in an interview with TVA Nouvelles. It is clear that the truce must be respected. Knowing that the United States is behind this, this is a good sign that there is tremendous international pressure to allow this truce to happen.”
Although this truce does not constitute a ceasefire, Mr. Audet believes it will be a good omen.
“It is definitely a step forward towards a possible ceasefire,” he says.
But to do this, this truce must be respected.
He says: “This type of truce, and we have seen it in the past everywhere else, whether in Afghanistan or Syria, is a very fragile truce.” “All chains of command are involved in this.”
He continues, “At the Hamas level and in Gaza, there are several groups involved and not necessarily in the same chain of command.” Therefore, Hamas must take this truce seriously so that a possible ceasefire can be reached.”
The release of the hostages would be a major political victory for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“The pressure on Netanyahu is certainly enormous,” Mr. Udet says. “It will be a great result for him.”
Watch the full interview in the video above