Amidst the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, Egypt has stepped forward with a proposal aimed at de-escalating tensions. The plan, detailed in various media reports, outlines a three-phase approach to not only end hostilities but also address the critical issue of hostages held by both sides.
However, it remains uncertain how Israel and Hamas will respond to this proposal.
- The first phase of Egypt's plan calls for a temporary halt to Israel's military operations. During this one to two-week pause, Hamas would release 40 hostages, including women and the elderly.
- The second phase involves an exchange of bodies: Israel would return the remains of Hamas militants in exchange for the bodies of Israeli hostages held by Hamas.
- The final phase is the most comprehensive, proposing an “all-for-all” deal.
This would entail Israel releasing 6,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for all remaining Israeli hostages, including soldiers, held by Hamas.
Diplomatic Movements Amidst War
Last week, Hamas stated its refusal to engage in talks about prisoner swaps until Israel ceases its military operations in Gaza.
The third phase of Egypt's proposal also includes the end of the war, with Israel withdrawing from Gaza and the establishment of a technocratic government in the region. This government, which would not be affiliated with Hamas, would receive support from the United States, Egypt, and Qatar.
The proposal has gained attention in Israeli and international news outlets, citing various officials and diplomatic sources. It represents a significant effort by Egypt to mediate in a conflict that has persisted with devastating consequences.
High-Level Meetings and the Road Ahead
The proposed plan comes as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's confidant, Ron Dermer, is expected to meet with Biden administration officials. Dermer, a member of Israel's war cabinet and former ambassador to the United States, is scheduled to discuss the ongoing situation in Gaza with key figures such as National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and Secretary of State Antony Blinken.