Mossad chief David Barnea at the Paris summit this week signed off on the outline of a prisoner swap deal which would included a six-week ceasefire and the release of 150 convicted terrorists in exchange for each female IDF soldier, the Wall Street Journal reported, quoting sources familiar with the negotiations.
The deal would reportedly include three parts, the first of which would be the ceasefire, in which Israel would cease all military operations, including drone surveillance, for six weeks while Hamas gathers the hostages to be released. In this stage, the civilian hostages released would include the elderly, sick, and the two children who Hamas promised to release during the November prisoner swap. Gazans would also be free to move around the Gaza Strip and reach all parts of it.
US negotiators have noted that resuming the war after such a long pause would be difficult. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office did not respond to WSJ's request for comment.
If the first stage succeeds, the deal would move to the next stage, with Hamas releasing female IDF soldiers and Israel allowing more humanitarian aid into the Hamas-controlled enclave. This stage would also see the reopening of hospitals, bakeries, and water services.
According to the report, Hamas has demanded that 150 convicted terrorists be released for every female IDF soldier.
In a potential third phase of the deal, Hamas would release male IDF soldiers, along with the bodies of dead hostages. WSJ added that if Israel refuses to release high-profile terrorists, Hamas may refuse to release some of the hostages.
Hamas has also demanded that the bodies of October 7 terrorists held by Israel be released in the swap.
Hamas has insisted that any prisoner swap include a long-term ceasefire, but has said that a temporary ceasefire would be acceptable so long as it included guarantees for something longer-term.
Meanwhile, sources familiar with Netanyahu's thinking told WSJ that the Prime Minister remains convinced that Israel may still be able to rescue the remaining hostages through military action instead of a prisoner swap.