Netanyahu’s office announced that he was convening a meeting of the directors general of all major government departments to plan treatment and assistance for the captives, indicating that he expected them to return shortly. Image courtesy Reuters
In light of growing indications that a deal to free hostages kidnapped by Hamas militants and brought to the Gaza Strip more than six weeks ago may soon be reached, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday convened a meeting of his military cabinet.
” We move forward. Without going into detail, Netanyahu told the reservists: “I don’t think it’s worth saying too much, at least not at the moment, but I hope there will be good news soon.” »
“In light of developments regarding the release of our hostages,” his office said, he would meet with his war cabinet at 6 p.m. (1600 GMT), then his broader security cabinet and the full cabinet.
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When the full cabinet met at 8 p.m. (6 p.m. GMT), two far-right members of Netanyahu’s administration said they would vote against the deal, even if it was not expected that they will influence the outcome.
For days, rumors of an imminent hostage exchange have been circulating. According to Israel’s count, during Hamas’ incursion into Israel on October 7, which resulted in the deaths of 1,200 people, the organization captured around 240 prisoners, including children and the elderly.
Netanyahu’s office announced that he was convening a meeting of the directors general of all major government departments to plan the treatment and assistance of the captives, indicating that he expected them to return shortly.
According to a US official briefed on the Qatar-led negotiations, the agreement provides for the exchange of 150 Palestinian detainees for 50 hostages, the majority of whom are women and children, as well as a ceasefire lasting four to five days.
Maintaining military pressure is the best approach to securing a favorable deal, according to Bezalel Smotrich, the finance minister, and Itamar Ben-Gvir, the national security minister, the two far-right members of Netanyahu’s government.
(With contributions from the agency)