hostages
hostagesMiriam Alster/FLASH90

Qatari Foreign Ministry Spokesman Mohammed al-Ansari said in an interview with the BBC that he is "more optimistic" that a ceasefire deal can be reached in the near-future between Israel and the Hamas terrorist organization in Gaza.

“If you ask me if I’m more optimistic today than I was a couple of days ago, I would say, yes,” al-Ansari said.

According to him, "The new proposal in the ceasefire talks bridges the gaps between the two sides in a way we hadn't seen in recent months, we are waiting for a response from both sides."

"Pressure from the US is always decisive in the success of the talks," he added.

He said that he is hopeful that soon, the first stage of a three-stage ceasefire would be able to begin.

According to a publication in the Qatari newspaper Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, as part of the deal, the war will stop for six weeks, during which 40 hostages will be released. In the past, Hamas refused a similar offer and has not yet responded to the current offer.

Hamas continues to hold over 130 Israelis hostage. According to some reports, over 30 of the hostages have been killed. Under this proposal, Hamas would not release more than two-thirds of the hostages it still holds captive.

At the same time, the proposal increased the number of displaced people who would be allowed to return to the northern Gaza Strip from 2,000 to 6,000. Another dispute regarding the displaced is Israel's demand to check everyone who returns to the northern Gaza Strip to ensure that terrorist operatives are not among them, a demand that Hamas refuses.