NewsProgress in Hamas-Israel ceasefire talks sparks hope

Progress in Hamas-Israel ceasefire talks sparks hope

The UN warns that the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip continues to deteriorate.
The UN warns that the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip continues to deteriorate.
Images source: © PAP | HAITHAM IMAD

5:33 PM EDT, July 6, 2024

Talks about a truce between Hamas and Israel are gaining momentum. The Palestinian organization, considered terrorist by the West, has preliminarily approved the American proposal for a ceasefire. Information providing hope for stopping the war in the Gaza Strip is also coming from Tel Aviv.

In the capital of Qatar, talks are taking place between Israel, represented by the head of Mossad, and representatives of Hamas. The mediators include the U.S. and Egypt. Although there is currently a break that will last until Monday, information from both sides provides hope for stopping the bloody fighting in the Gaza Strip.

Agencies, including Reuters, reported that Hamas has preliminarily approved the American proposal for a ceasefire, withdrawing its earlier demand that Israel commit to a full and permanent ceasefire before signing the agreement. Sources in both negotiating teams confirmed that there is a chance - though not a certainty - to reach an agreement.

The spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not respond on Saturday to Reuters' request for comment on these reports, but the previous day his office warned that discrepancies still exist between the parties and announced that talks would continue next week.

Oil prices and the situation in the Middle East

The situation in the Middle East affects oil prices on global markets. With each threat of escalation, as was the case with the exchange of fire between Israel and Iran, the "risk premium" added to rates increases. However, prices fell on Friday following reports of a potential truce.

"Brent oil futures ended Friday's session down $0.89, or 1.02%, to $86.54 per barrel, although earlier in the day they reached the highest level since April," noted "Puls Biznesu."

The newspaper added that futures for American West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil ended the week at $83.16 per barrel, a decline of $0.72, or 0.9%. "For the week, Brent crude oil prices rose by 0.4%, while WTI oil prices increased by 2.1%," summarizes "PB."

The truce between Hamas and Israel - what are the conditions?

Palestinian and Egyptian sources from the AP agency reported that the phased agreement will first include a "full and complete" six-week ceasefire, during which a "certain number" of hostages will be released, including women, the elderly, and the wounded (estimated at dozens of people) in exchange for the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners. During this time, the Israeli military is expected to withdraw from densely populated areas of Gaza and allow the return of civilians to homes in the northern zone, as confirmed by both sources.

Concurrent negotiations will address the conditions of the next phase, during which the remaining abducted men from Israel will be released. In return, Tel Aviv would release additional Palestinian prisoners and detainees.

The third phase would include the return of all remaining hostages and the transfer of the bodies of those killed by Hamas on October 7, which were taken to the Gaza Strip, as well as those who died or were killed after being abducted. Additionally, a long-term reconstruction project for the completely ruined area is planned.

What remains to be achieved for an agreement? Hamas is demanding written guarantees from mediators that Israel will continue negotiations on a permanent ceasefire agreement after the first stage comes into effect. The preliminary approval of the U.S. proposal came after receiving "verbal commitments" from the mediators.

The latest round of the Gaza Strip war is the result of a terrorist attack by Hamas and associated groups on Israel on October 7, 2023, during which 1,200 people were killed and 250 abducted. Over 38,000 people died in the Israeli retaliation.

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