The report comes after Egypt submitted a “two-page plan” over a three-phased deal between Israel and Hamas this week.
Israel is awaiting a response from Hamas through Qatari mediators regarding a new proposal for a hostage deal while warning of “more military pressure”, Israeli news outlet Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Wednesday.
The report came after Egypt submitted a new proposal—reportedly drafted with Qatar and the United States—over a 10-day pause to release the remaining Israeli and foreign captives from Hamas in Gaza.
Their release would take place on the condition that Israel releases Palestinians from its prisons.
Qatar and Egypt had mediated a pause that took place between November 24 and December 1 following two extensions. The deal resulted in the release of 110 Israeli and foreign captives from Gaza and the release of 240 Palestinian women and children from Israeli prisons.
Yedioth Ahronoth reported that Israel has now submitted its proposal for another pause and it expects a response from Hamas “in the coming days.”
It added that there is “pessimism” in Israel over Hamas’ “answer and the widespread opinion is that more military pressure will be required to bring about the development of a new outline.”
The first phase would see a 10-day “humanitarian deal” that would take place after a two-day pause where all sides will go over the list of captives–including elderly and children—and Palestinian prisoners that will be released.
The discussions will take place in Egypt with the attendance of Qatari and American mediators, the Abu Dhabi-based outlet added.
Then the second phase would see the withdrawal of Israeli forces “out of urban areas in Gaza” under a one-month window. The period would enable talks over the release of Israeli forces from Hamas in exchange for several Palestinian prisoners.
Under the third phase, negotiations would take place over the release of all Israeli military members from Hamas in exchange for Palestinian prisoners in addition to the complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza.
In turn, Hamas would halt its targeting of Israel, The National added.
Hamas has repeatedly rejected any pause in fighting, instead calling for a complete ceasefire in Gaza, a demand that Israel has repeatedly rejected.
Meanwhile, Palestine’s Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh welcomed the Egyptian proposal during a weekly cabinet meeting in Ramallah.
“Egypt is certainly keen on the unity of Palestinian representation, and any regional or international arrangement passes only through Palestinian legitimacy represented by the Palestine Liberation Organization,” Shtayyeh said.
Shtayyeh called for the entry of additional aid into Gaza, describing the Israeli method of starvation as a crime.
“Starvation by depriving the population of bread is nothing but a crime, and starving infants in Gaza is murder,” he added.
The Israeli genocidal war on Gaza has persisted for nearly three months, killing 21,110 people while injuring 55,243 others in the besieged enclave, according to Palestine’s news agency (Wafa).
Euro-Med believes the toll stands at 29,124 Palestinians, including thousands trapped under the rubble in Gaza.
The United Nations Security Council had failed to pass a ceasefire resolution on December 8 after the U.S. used its veto power to block the vote.
Like Tel Aviv, Washington has rejected all efforts at reaching a ceasefire in Gaza, placing the U.S. Joe Biden administration under major international and domestic pressure.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is reportedly scheduled to embark on a tour in the Middle East late next week in a scramble for another exchange deal, five American, Israeli and Arab officials told Axios on Wednesday.
The tour would include Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, the West Bank, Jordan, and Tel Aviv.
If confirmed, the regional visits would be Blinken’s fourth trip to the Middle East and his fifth to Israel since the beginning of the war on October 7.
Blinken visited Qatar on October 13, where Washington and Doha had “very productive discussions” on the situation in Gaza.