Tel Aviv ,Israel-December 16 2023- Daniel Alon who was freed from captivity, speaks to thousands who came to the rally demanding the return of the hostages. Behind stand family members of the hostages Shutterstock)


This is the first time Israel has signaled it may agree to a permanent ceasefire as part of a hostage release deal.

By Vered Weiss

The newest version of the hostage deal would require significant concessions from Israel, including a willingness to agree to an eventual ceasefire, as reported by journalist Barak Ravid.

After Hamas rejected multiple hostage release proposals, a revised version was presented to the terror group on Friday that included provisions to return displaced Palestinians to their homes, a partial withdrawal of the IDF from Gaza, and the first steps toward a permanent ceasefire.

The plan was drafted during a meeting of Egyptian and Israeli intelligence officials on Friday.

The “restoration of lasting peace” to the Gaza Strip, which implies a ceasefire and the end of the war, would be implemented following the first phase of the agreement.

This is the first time Israel has signaled it may agree to a permanent ceasefire as part of a hostage release deal.

An Israeli official said, “We hope that what we have offered is enough to bring Hamas into serious negotiations, it is an offer from which they will understand that we are serious about reaching a deal – and we are serious.”

The official continued, “They need to understand that it is possible that if the first stage is implemented, it will be possible to advance to the next stages and reach the end of the war.”

Hostage deal negotiations have been roadblocked over Hamas’s insistence that before any hostages are released, Israel must agree to a permanent ceasefire.

Hamas rejected a proposal that would have called for a 6-week pause in fighting, the release of 35 to 40 hostages, and an increase in humanitarian aid delivered to Gaza.

Following an offer by the terror group to free only 20 hostages, senior Hamas official Moussa Abu Marzouk said “We do not know how many Israeli prisoners are alive or dead at the moment.”

US officials told NBC News that they didn’t know how many of the 133 hostages held in Gaza are still alive, and estimated that around one-fourth may be dead.

Officials said that although it is “difficult to say for certain,” how many hostages are alive, there are likely more dead than have been previously reported.

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