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Prospects of a Potential Israel-Hamas Deal

Amidst ongoing negotiations, there are emerging prospects for a deal between Israel and Hamas that could bring relief to the people of Gaza and the families of Israeli hostages. The proposed agreement entails a six-week ceasefire, during which Hamas would release around 40 hostages, predominantly civilian women, children, and elderly or sick individuals. Additionally, displaced Palestinians would be permitted to return to certain areas in northern Gaza, while aid deliveries would be significantly increased during the ceasefire period.

Despite optimism from U.S. President Joe Biden, both sides continue to posture, with key issues such as the release of female soldiers and the withdrawal of Israeli troops from specific areas of Gaza remaining contentious.

The deal also aims to pave the way for broader negotiations towards a postwar Gaza, envisioned by the U.S. to eventually lead to the establishment of a Palestinian state under the governance of a revamped Palestinian Authority. However, Israel insists on retaining overall security control in Gaza and rejects external imposition of statehood.