“Palestine’s radical Hamas movement signaled its consent to gradual release of Palestinians from Israeli prisons as part of a new deal to free Israeli hostages held in the Gaza Strip, the Al Hadath television said.
According to the report, the signal came as part of a new initiative forged during the latest meeting in Paris.
It is expected that during the first phase of the agreements, Hamas “will not demand the release of individuals sentenced to lengthy prison terms.”
Until recently, Hamas leaders stated that they will negotiate the release of hostages held in Gaza only if a number of its conditions are met, including the simultaneous release of all Palestinians held in Israeli prisons.
The AFP news agency reported on January 28 that US Central Intelligence Agency Director William Burns had held a meeting in Paris with representatives of Egypt, Israel and Qatar. NBC News, in turn, reported that the parties had agreed on the framework of a deal between Hamas and Israel, which provided for a phased exchange of hostages held by Hamas militants and Palestinian prisoners held by Israel, as well as for pauses in fighting and humanitarian aid supplies to Gaza. On Tuesday, Hamas said it had received a proposal for a deal with Israel that had been hammered out at the Paris meeting.