Hostage release: Deal could be reached in next two weeks (NYT)

According to The New York Times, a significant improvement in the deal on hostages in exchange for a weeks-long cease-fire. The newspaper, based on US sources, said a summit was planned for today in Paris, bringing together Israeli, Egyptian and Qatari representatives. During the summit, a draft agreement will be presented that includes Israel and Hamas proposals developed over the past ten days. The deal, which could be finalized in the next two weeks, provides for the release of more than 100 hostages.

US sources cited by the Times are expressing cautious optimism, confirming that a final deal is now possible despite significant differences. Under the terms of the deal under negotiation, Israel must observe a two-month ceasefire. The agreement, more comprehensive than the previous one, included two phases: first an end to fighting for about 30 days and allowing the release of women, elderly and wounded hostages. During this period, details of the second phase will be drawn up, an additional month of fighting in exchange for the release of additional Israeli soldiers and civilians. The number of Palestinian security prisoners to be released in exchange has not yet been determined, but the issue is considered solvable. The proposed deal would increase humanitarian aid to Gaza.

According to reports, Israel will not be forced into a permanent ceasefire as demanded by Hamas, but if there is a lasting ceasefire, Israel will not resume hostilities with the same intensity. Such a ceasefire would pave the way for discussions on a more comprehensive solution to the conflict. US President Joe Biden is also reported to have recently held talks with the leaders of Egypt and Qatar to iron out remaining differences with Hamas' mediators. Today, an important meeting is scheduled in Paris, where CIA director William Burns will join Mossad chief Teddy Barnia, Egyptian intelligence chief Abbas Kamal and Qatari prime minister Mohammed al-Thani with the participation of the Egyptian delegation.

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