Prisoner exchange deal: Israeli Cabinet rejects key points in proposed deal

News Bulletin Reports
2024-02-02 | 12:54
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Prisoner exchange deal: Israeli Cabinet rejects key points in proposed deal
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Prisoner exchange deal: Israeli Cabinet rejects key points in proposed deal

Report by Amal Shehadeh, English adaptation by Yasmine Jaroudi
 
Despite optimism from Israelis and mediators following the quadripartite meeting in Paris, the Israeli Cabinet ministers are dismissing the possibility of implementing the proposed prisoner exchange deal in the near future.

The deal, awaiting approval from the Hamas leadership in Gaza, led by Yahya Sinwar, faced renewed scrutiny in the mini-cabinet meeting.

The following points were rejected:

-         Extending the ceasefire period for more than a month.

-         Complete withdrawal from Gaza.

-         Releasing security prisoners serving life sentences or more, labeled as killers by Cabinet ministers, and additionally, rejecting the release of prisoners described as troublemakers.

Hamas prioritizes a comprehensive ceasefire and a complete withdrawal of the Israeli army. Israelis view Hamas' insistence on its conditions as a sign of superiority, reigniting the debate on the necessity of increasing pressure on Hamas to submit.

While the army announced a reduction in combat intensity and withdrawal from northern Gaza, it simultaneously escalated fighting in the middle of the Strip.

Security Minister Yoav Gallant boasted that the operation in Khan Yunis, with each advancement and achieved objective, brings Israel closer to recovering its prisoners.

Despite Israeli promises to Egypt not to intensify combat in Rafah, as long as civilians were present, Gallant declared that his forces would reach this area.

Simultaneously with the Israeli debate on Hamas' role in the prisoner deal, for the first time since October 7, the army allowed Channel 14 to film the detention site of elite Hamas prisoners arrested during the war.

The army deliberately portrayed them in a demeaning manner despite some speakers stating that they do not belong to Hamas.

Amid the heightened war in Gaza, Israelis also increased their threats toward Lebanon as clashes continued on both sides of the borders.

Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi toured the northern region, reiterating the possibility of escalation in this area and emphasizing the need for preparedness for any emergency that could lead to the widening of the battle.
 

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