Hamas terrorists
Hamas terroristsCourtesy

An Israeli official said Sunday night that Israel has expressed agreement to release 700 terrorists jailed in Israel in exchange for the release of 40 hostages held by Hamas in Gaza.

Analyst Barak Ravid reported that of the 700 terrorists, about 100 are serving life sentences for serious acts of terror which they carried out.

Israel rejected a similar offer proposed by the Qatari brokers several weeks ago, but Hamas at the time was demanding a significantly higher number of terrorists serving life sentences in Israel.

It was also reported that the Israeli agreement followed pressure by the head of the CIA in talks held in Qatar over the weekend.

According to the official, Israel also agreed to discuss a US proposal to allow Gazans to return to northern Gaza after the hostages are released.