Hamas leader says group is close to reaching a truce agreement with Israel

In a recent statement posted on Telegram, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh suggested that the group is on the verge of reaching a truce agreement with Israel. Haniyeh’s statement follows Hamas delivering a response to mediators in Qatar, indicating progress in the ongoing negotiations.

“The movement delivered its response to the brothers in Qatar and the mediators, and we are close to reaching a truce agreement,” stated Haniyeh. However, specific details about the potential agreement were not disclosed.

This development aligns with similar assertions from the White House. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby remarked on Monday that negotiators are “getting close to the end” concerning the release of hostages held by Hamas. Kirby, however, refrained from providing elaborate details about the potential deal.

“I know that everybody’s interested in the numbers and who they’re going to be. We’re working that through literally in real time with both sides. So, I think it’s better if I just don’t speculate about what that pool is going to look like. Obviously, we are laser-focused on the American citizens that we know are being held hostage, and we want them out, all of them, everybody should be out now,” Kirby stated.

Recent reports from sources indicated a possible deal to secure the release of some hostages and a temporary pause in fighting may be in sight. These developments follow weeks of negotiations between the United States, Israel, and Hamas, with mediation from Qatar, a Gulf state.

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According to figures from the Palestinian Ministry of Health in the West Bank, at least 12,700 Palestinians have been killed since October 7 as a result of Israeli attacks. The data, sourced from Hamas-run health authorities in the enclave, notes that at least 5,350 of those killed were children.

Kirby also recently pushed back against protesters accusing Israel of committing genocide in Gaza. While acknowledging civilian casualties in Gaza, Kirby asserted Israel’s right to defend itself against “a genocidal terrorist threat”.

The situation remains tense, and the international community watches closely as diplomatic efforts continue to navigate a potential truce agreement between Hamas and Israel.

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