Hamas releases hostages
Hamas releases hostagesFlash 90

Mossad chief David Barnea on Thursday passed on a message from Qatar to the War Cabinet, stating that Hamas no longer insists on ending the war as a condition for moving forward with a new hostage release deal, Kan 11 News reported on Friday evening.

According to a source with knowledge of the details, the discussion is now focusing on a humanitarian deal, but the prices that Israel will have to pay in terms of days of respite and the release of prisoners will be "heavier".

"We moved from the freezer to the coldest shelf in the refrigerator," said an Israeli official about the negotiations for the release of the hostages.

Meanwhile, Channel 12 News reported that the Cabinet on Thursday discussed a Qatari proposal that is still in the preliminary stages.

According to the outline presented, the first phase will include the release of 40-50 hostages, in exchange for a complete ceasefire of one month. The second phase is expected to be more complex and its details are not yet clear, but the assessment is that it would include an arrangement for the IDF's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.

The report noted that Israel and Hamas have yet to respond to the new proposal.

Reports in recent days indicated that Egypt had presented a proposal for a ceasefire in exchange for the release of hostages being held by Hamas.

The proposal states that, in the first stage, Israel will stop the fighting for at least two or three weeks, and Hamas would release 40 hostages in return for 120 terrorists.

According to the initiative, in the second stage, a professional government will be established in the Gaza Strip consisting of Hamas and Fatah members, and the bodies of IDF soldiers will be released.

In the third stage, Israel will announce the end of the war, the IDF will leave the Gaza Strip, and the terror organizations will release the remaining hostages.

A Hamas delegation was due in Cairo on Friday to give its "observations" about the Egyptian plan.

Earlier this week, US President Joe Biden spoke with Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al-Thani of Qatar amid the efforts to achieve another hostage release deal.

Qatar and Egypt were mediators between Israel and Hamas in the late November truce, during which Hamas released 110 hostages.

(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)