Conflict in the Middle East Hamas should be given rules

Conflict in the Middle East: Hamas should be given rules for a ceasefire Salzburger

After negotiations for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and the release of hostages, radical Islamist Hamas is expected to receive a corresponding framework, according to Qatari sources.

Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said at an event in Washington on Monday that “good progress” had been made in negotiations with representatives from the United States, Israel and Egypt.

The various parties hope to “transmit this proposal to Hamas and make it participate positively and constructively in the process.” The Palestinian organization made “a clear demand” for a “permanent ceasefire before negotiations,” Al-Thani added. The current proposal “could lead to a permanent ceasefire in the future.”

Qatar has played a leading mediation role since the start of the war in Gaza. Al-Thani confirmed that meetings with CIA chief Bill Burns and senior Israeli and Egyptian security officials resulted in a draft multi-phase ceasefire. Women and children taken hostage by Hamas would be released first.

The US was also cautiously optimistic. “We can't yet speak of an imminent agreement, but based on the discussions we've had over the weekend and over the last few days, we feel it's moving in a good direction,” said National Security Council Communications Director John Kirby. on Monday in Washington. But there is still a lot to do. Representatives from the US, Israel, Egypt and Qatar held discussions in Paris over the weekend. Those involved wanted to continue discussions this week.

The New York Times reported Sunday night, citing U.S. government circles, that U.S. negotiators had drawn up a draft based on proposals from Israel and Hamas. The agreement could therefore stipulate that Hamas release more than 100 hostages and that Israel suspend its military action in the Gaza Strip for around two months. In the first phase, fighting should be stopped for 30 days, the report states. During this period, Hamas is expected to release female, elderly and injured hostages. At the same time, both sides should negotiate a second phase in which the Israeli men and soldiers taken hostage would be released for another 30 days of ceasefire.

Compared to the seven-day ceasefire in November, during which hostages and Palestinian prisoners in Israel were exchanged, the fighting would last significantly longer. Hundreds of members and supporters of the Palestinian organization Hamas, classified as a terrorist organization by the EU and the US, killed around 1,140 people on 7 October and took around 250 others hostage in the Gaza Strip.

Since then, Israel has undertaken massive military actions in the Gaza Strip. According to Hamas figures, which cannot be independently verified, more than 26,600 people have been killed in the Gaza Strip so far.

According to Israeli information, 132 of the 250 hostages are still in Palestinian territory. These include the bodies of at least 28 dead hostages.