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Israel and Hamas: “minor” obstacles to agreeing on the hostages

Israel and Hamas: “minor” obstacles to agreeing on the hostages

The Qatari Prime Minister said on Sunday that reaching an agreement on the release of the hostages kidnapped by the Palestinian Hamas movement during its attack on Israel on October 7 now depends on “simple” practical issues, without providing a timetable.

Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said during a press conference in Doha alongside the European Union’s head of diplomacy, that “the remaining challenges in the negotiations are very simple (…) and are more logistical and more practical.” , Josep Borrell.

Negotiations to reach an agreement “have seen ups and downs in recent weeks.” He added: “I think I am now more confident that we are close enough to reaching an agreement that allows these people (hostages) to return home safely.”

The Hamas attack on Israeli territory on October 7 killed 1,200 people, most of them civilians, according to Israeli authorities who estimate that about 240 people were taken hostage by the Palestinian Islamic movement that day.

In response, Israel vowed to “annihilate” Hamas, which seized power in Gaza in 2007. Israeli bombing of the Gaza Strip since then has killed 12,300 people, most of them civilians, according to the Palestinian movement’s government.

Qatar, which hosts a political office for Hamas, participated in mediation that allowed the release of four hostages in October: an American woman and her daughter, in addition to two Israeli women.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly said that he rejects any ceasefire until all hostages are released.