Ismail Haniyeh, the political leader of Hamas, made a statement this Monday to announce that the agreement for a truce in Gaza is in its final stage of negotiation with Israel. The leader, sheltered in Doha, said that his organization had responded to Qatar, a mediator between the terrorist group and other actors.
Haniyeh did not offer further details in his statement. According to other information from Al Jazeera, the Qatari state network, the negotiations focus on how long the truce should last and whether there would be agreements to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza. The exchange or release of Israeli hostages would also be negotiated.
The Israeli authorities also did not offer more details than those given by the ambassador in Washington DC, in an interview with ABC last Sunday. He assured that the truce agreement will arrive "in the coming days." The Prime Minister of Qatar, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman al-Thani, agreed shortly afterwards and clarified that some "very minor" points still needed to be polished.
According to sources from the Reuters agency, Qatari mediators want Hamas to release at least 50 of the 250 hostages held captive in Gaza, in exchange for at least three days of ceasefire. The cessation of hostilities would be used to bring new aid convoys into Gaza.
IDF takes Jabalia
In Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces (ID) continue their advance. According to the military, its troops are about to completely surround the town of Jabalia, located two and a half miles north of Gaza City.
The IDF says its 162nd Division has completed the encirclement of northern Gaza's Jabaliya, and is ready to deepen the fighting.
It says the 215th Artillery Regiment and the Air Force carried out heavy strikes in Jabaliya to "prepare the ground for battle."
On the outskirts of… pic.twitter.com/rGceLK6WjE
— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) November 21, 2023
The 162nd Division, the 933rd Nahal Brigade, the 215th Artillery Regiment, the 401st Armored Brigade, and the 551st Reservist Brigade are participating in this effort. After surrounding the city, the troops will begin to take the buildings and streets one by one.
According to the IDF, during the encirclement operation of the city, at least three tunnels where Hamas terrorists and weapons were sheltering inside were destroyed. In this latest effort, two more IDF soldiers were killed in Gaza. They bring the total number of Israeli military personnel killed in the ground operation to 68. They are two reservists who died during a battle in which five more soldiers were wounded.