Ceasefire extension challenge: Israeli War Cabinet weighs options amid prisoner exchange dispute

News Bulletin Reports
2023-11-29 | 11:10
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Ceasefire extension challenge: Israeli War Cabinet weighs options amid prisoner exchange dispute
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3min
Ceasefire extension challenge: Israeli War Cabinet weighs options amid prisoner exchange dispute

The Israeli War Cabinet and military are intensifying efforts to secure consensus on extending the ceasefire while ensuring the release of a significant number of Israeli prisoners. Simultaneously, there are discussions about completing the second phase of the ground operation in the southern Gaza Strip.

These discussions are taking place against the backdrop of ongoing talks led by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Tel Aviv.

A significant development came from the Israeli Science and Technology Minister, Ofir Akunis, revealing that the Israeli government has already approved an extension of the ceasefire until next Monday, with the condition that the military resumes operations in the Gaza Strip and eliminates Hamas.

However, Israel is experiencing internal disputes and debates regarding the exchange of prisoners and ground operation.

The War Cabinet, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, leans towards the American request for an agreement on a ceasefire while continuing the fight against Hamas.

On this basis, the cabinet is formulating a plan where the army announces the commencement of operations in specific areas, moving gradually to others after completing the military mission. A ceasefire would then be in effect in the remaining areas of the sector, which would be outside the scope of active combat.

This plan faces opposition from officers within the military, who advocate for a return to combat until Hamas is completely eradicated from the Gaza Strip.

Regarding the prisoner exchange, Israel states that the exchange will be divided into five groups as specified by Hamas: Young men and adults, elderly reservists, soldiers on active duty, and bodies.

The upcoming stages of the prisoner exchange involve Israel seeking the release of dozens of Israelis in exchange for a ceasefire and a change in the equation of one Israeli prisoner for three Palestinian prisoners.

However, a new disagreement has emerged as Israel refuses to include the captives from the Palestinian-48 women in the exchange. These women were arrested on charges of supporting Gaza or Hamas through social media networks since the Operation of the Al-Aqsa Flood, and they are not included in the exchange lists.

The internal Israeli dispute coincides with ongoing Qatari, Egyptian, and US talks in Doha until Thursday morning. These discussions aim to formulate conditions for the prisoner exchange and a ceasefire.

Notably, there has been no discussion of whether the plan to resume fighting in some areas of Gaza will require Hamas and Islamic Jihad to halt rocket attacks on Israel. Every passing hour brings sterile research and difficult decisions, all within a climate of hope mixed with concern for the fate of this war.

News Bulletin Reports

Middle East News

Ceasefire

Extension

Challenge

Israeli

War

Cabinet

Options

Prisoner

Exchange

Dispute

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