Media sources on Sunday quoted a senior US official as talking about progress in prisoner exchange talks between the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) and Israel, at a time when Washington is considering ground troops in Rafah in the far south. Insisting on refusing to launch the campaign. Under the current circumstances of the Gaza Strip.
Reuters quoted a senior official in US President Joe Biden's administration as saying that negotiators working on an outline for a multi-phase deal to secure the release of Israeli hostages held in Gaza had made “real progress” in the past few weeks. ” Has attained.
He said the agreement was the main focus of a 45-minute phone call between Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu early Sunday. The official said that there are still some major shortcomings related to this agreement which should be filled.
Biden stressed during the call that under the current circumstances, the United States does not support the implementation of Israeli military operations in Rafah, because approximately 1.3 million people are taking refuge there, “and they have nowhere to go. Not there.”
For its part, NBC quoted a US official as saying that the gap in the exchange deal is still large and that all details of the deal need to be finalized, but he reported that “major progress has been made in the deal to release the hostages in Gaza.” Might be possible.” This week.”
For its part, Hamas said on Sunday – that launching an Israeli military operation in the city of Rafah would weaken its chances of releasing Israeli prisoners.
A leading source in the movement warned that the military operation would “hinder negotiations” for a prisoner exchange.
1.3 million Palestinians, or more than half the population of the besieged Gaza Strip, are gathered in Rafah near the Egyptian border. Most of them are displaced people who fled the Israeli offensive in the north and center of the Gaza Strip.
Earlier, Netanyahu confirmed that he was continuing military operations in Rafah. “Victory is within our reach. We will do it. We will control the last Hamas terrorist brigade and Rafah, the last bastion of the movement,” he said in an interview with ABC News.
The occupation forces have been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7, which has so far resulted in the martyrdom of more than 28,000 people, most of whom are women and children, and the destruction that has left nearly 70,000 injured. of displacement and starvation of the Belt's cities and its inhabitants.