Sponsor of Hamas and headquarters of the largest US military base in the region, the intriguing absolutist monarchy of Qatar yesterday leaked the offer to release between 12 and 15 hostages, of which six would be Americans, in exchange for a high the fire for between one and three days in Gaza.
Qatari sources indicate that the US supports the operation and is aware of the details. “Hamas only has one asset in this war: the hostages,” an Israeli Arab source with experience in this type of negotiations told us days ago.
Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu echoed the issue, without mentioning it, in a meeting with West Bank settlers. “I would like to dismiss all sorts of vain rumors that come to us from all sides and clearly repeat one thing: there will be no ceasefire without the release of our hostages. All the rest is futile,” he noted. The question is whether a handful of hostages – not two or three – could fit within that framework of firmness.
Qatar was the architect of the only four hostage releases to date, in October, four women in two batches, and has been negotiating new cases given its close relationship with the Hamas leadership, who resides in Doha, and its sustained economic support from the day by day of the strip since Hamas took complete control in 2007 (80% of the civil servants’ payrolls were normally paid by Qatar).
According to Israel, those kidnapped number 240, of which 32 are children, some months old.
Double-digit hostage numbers could fit Netanyahu’s demand for a temporary ceasefire
A negotiating source close to Hamas, cited by the France Presse agency, points out that the main obstacle is the duration of the humanitarian truce and the territory it would include (Hamas intends it to cover the northern half, where Israeli troops are in full offensive). and have bagged Gaza City).
To date, the Government of Israel maintains that there will only be a ceasefire with the release of “our hostages”, an argument that allows us to say no to everything and return the ball humanitarian to those who send it to the prime minister. Time and time again, Israeli spokespersons reply to media questions and adverse external statements that “their” hostages do not have any assistance or visits from the International Red Cross.