Red Cross vehicle making its way to transport hostages
Red Cross vehicle making its way to transport hostagesAtia Mohamed/Flash 90

The negotiations on a hostage deal resumed in Paris on Friday, after the War Cabinet authorized the sending of an Israeli delegation to the talks.

A senior Israeli official quoted by Channel 12 News said, "There is optimism, but we are only at the initial stage. The attempt is to produce a basic outline with clear criteria of what is being discussed and what is not. There is no imminent deal yet, but the goal is to bring one before the month of Ramadan begins."

According to the report, the delegation discussed the number of terrorists to be released in exchange for hostages held by Hamas, as well as their identities.

In addition, Israel is willing to be flexible on the days of respite and on the issue of humanitarian aid. An issue on which Israel will not agree is a cessation of the fighting, the report said.

On the rehabilitation of the Gaza Strip and the return of the residents to the northern part of the Strip, different approaches are being considered.

Meanwhile, sources in Hamas told Arab media on Friday that they are not ruling out a breakthrough in the negotiations in the coming week.

The sources stated that Hamas is adamant that the first phase of the agreement will include an Israeli withdrawal from the heart of the cities in the Gaza Strip - which will allow the residents to return to the area.

The sources also made clear that Hamas has not backed down from its demand that Israel release “heavy prisoners” who are serving lengthy prison sentences for taking part in terrorist attacks against Israelis.

(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.)