Gaza Crisis: Hamas Approves U.S. Backed Cease-Fire Plan

A Possible Breakthrough in Gaza

Hamas, a group that was controlling the Gaza strip, has shown an unexpected compromise. They’ve agreed to a cease-fire proposal backed by the United States. This means they’ve kind of dropped their previous demand of ending the ongoing war with Israel right away. This could potentially pause the intense fighting that has been happening since November. Even so, it’s not fully decided yet and a lot depends on further talks.

A Glimpse at the Proposal

The peace deal from Washington proposed a step-by-step process. It starts with a full cease-fire for six weeks. What it means is that there would be no warfare for one and a half months. During that time, specific hostages like older, sick, and female ones would be set free. But, there’s a trade. Hundreds of Palestinian prisoners would also be let out.

In this period, Israeli forces would pull back from populated areas in Gaza. People who were forced out of their homes in northern Gaza could return. This is what was suggested by a few officials, who wanted to stay anonymous.

A Staged Strategy

After the initial six weeks, talk would carry on. It would involve Hamas, Israel and everyone trying to make peace. They would discuss the terms for the next step. This would possibly include freeing the remaining hostages, both civilians and soldiers. In return, Israel would let go of more Palestinian detainees and prisoners.

The final stage would involve more hostage returns. This even includes bringing back the bodies of those who died. Then, they would begin a long-term plan to rebuild.

But, Hamas still wants something in black and white. They want commitments from the mediators. They want assurance that Israel would indeed look to permanently stop the war once the first phase starts.

The Next Steps to Gaza Peace

The news of Hamas’s agreement came after they received some verbal promises from the mediators. They promised that the war would not restart and talks would continue till a permanent peace is reached. The process so far has been rocky, with talks frequently stalling. The complete war termination demand was a stumbling block.

Leaders Voice Concerns

Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, was willing to pause the fight but not stop it. His goal is to disable Hamas’s military and governance abilities and free all hostages. Both sides are worried the other might break promises made in the deal.

Last Friday, Netanyahu confirmed a quick trip of the Mossad spy agency’s chief to Qatar. He admitted that differences still existed between the battling parties.

The war began after Hamas attacked in October. In this, militants rushed into southern Israel, killing an estimated 1,200 people, most of whom were civilians. They also took around 250 people hostage. Israel thinks Hamas still has around 120 hostages, with a third of them dead.

Since then, Israel’s air and land attacks have been harsh. It’s reported that over 38,000 people in Gaza have died. Wide-scale destruction has led to a humanitarian crisis, with hundreds of thousands of people on the edge of famine.

Let’s hope a peace deal can finally turn things around and bring a long-awaited peace to the region.

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