Israel, Hamas in advanced talks to release 50 more Gaza hostages — senior official
Israel and Hamas are in advanced negotiations through Egypt and Qatar for the terror organization to release 50 more hostages who were taken captive into Gaza during the organization’s October 7 onslaught, a senior diplomatic official told The Times of Israel on Monday.
The talks made progress over the past two days before hitting a snag on Monday, the senior official said, confirming an earlier story in The Wall Street Journal, which reported that Hamas began conditioning the release of 50 dual nationals on Israel allowing fuel into Gaza.
Israel has pushed back on the demand, saying it will only allow the entry of fuel into Gaza if all of the roughly 220 hostages are released, the WSJ report said.
Not all of the hostages are believed to be in Hamas captivity, as Palestinian Islamic Jihad has also claimed to be holding 30 of its own and unaffiliated Palestinians reportedly participated in the massacre, taking captives in the process as well.
Thomas White, the Gaza director of the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA, said Monday that the agency has only three days of fuel left for its trucks. Distribution of aid will grind to a halt when it can no longer fuel its trucks, the UN said.
Gaza hospitals are also struggling to keep generators running to power life-saving medical equipment and incubators for premature babies.
However, Israel feels certain that any fuel will be commandeered by Hamas to use for military purposes, as Israel prepares to invade the territory and eliminate the terror group.