Hamas-Israel Truce Nearing: Diplomatic Talks Amid Hostage CrisisWorld | November 21, 2023, Tuesday // 08:22| views
The head of "Hamas" Ismail Haniyeh said that the Palestinian armed group is close to a truce agreement with Israel, reported Reuters. Fighting in the northern parts of the enclave continues amid diplomatic efforts to negotiate the release of the 240 hostages abducted by the Palestinian group.
Ismail Haniyeh’s statement gave no further details on the terms of the potential agreement. Earlier, US President Joe Biden said he believed a deal to free the hostages in Gaza was close. Qatari mediators are trying to negotiate a deal between Israel and Hamas to exchange 50 hostages in exchange for a three-day ceasefire that would help deliver emergency aid to civilians in Gaza.
Hamas representative Izzat Al-Risheq told Al-Jazeera television that the deal would include a several-day truce, humanitarian aid and an exchange of hostages for Palestinian prisoners from Israeli prisons.
The United States has condemned the hijacking by the Yemeni Houthi rebels of a cargo ship with two Bulgarians in its crew.
"The capture of the motor ship Galaxy Leader by the Houthis in the Red Sea is a gross violation of international law," US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said at a briefing and called for the "immediate release of the ship and its crew."
The UN has expressed alarm over the hijacking of the cargo ship. "We are following the reports with grave concern," Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' spokesman said.
The High Representative of the European Union for foreign policy, Josep Borrell, also commented on the case. In his words, "reports of a ship hijacked by the Houthis are another alarming sign of the risk of the conflict spreading throughout the region." He also stressed that the creation of an independent Palestinian state is the best way to guarantee Israel's security.
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