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In swap deal, Israel to free 400 Palestinians in return for 40 Gaza captives: Report

Palestinians wave flags of the Hamas resistance group in the West Bank city of Nablus on November 24, 2023, as they celebrate the release of Palestinian abductees as part of a swap deal with Israel for the return of captives held in Gaza. (Photo by AP)

A new report has published details of a prisoner swap deal between Israel and Hamas, under which the occupying regime will free 400 Palestinian abductees in exchange for the release of 40 held in captivity by the Gaza-based resistance group.

The swap deal, which will be accompanied by a six-week truce, came as part of the recent talks in the French capital Paris between Israeli, American, Egyptian and Qatari representatives. Al Jazeera reported.

Citing unidentified sources involved in the discussions, the report said Israel has agreed to free 400 Palestinians held in the regime’s prisons in return for 40 Gaza captives. 

Israel has also agreed to the gradual return of displaced Palestinians to northern Gaza – with the exception of young men, who are "of recruitment age," and the entry of further aid and temporary shelters into the besieged territory, including heavy machinery and equipment.

The regime has further agreed to halt its warplanes over the Gaza Strip, including intelligence-gathering ones, for eight hours.

The report came after an Israeli delegation traveled to Doha, where Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani separately met with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.

Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden said that he hopes for a ceasefire in Gaza by next Monday, when asked when he thought a truce could begin.

“Well I hope by the beginning of the weekend. The end of the weekend. My national security adviser tells me that we’re close. We’re close. We’re not done yet,” Biden said when asked when he thought a truce could begin.

“And my hope is that by next Monday [March 4] we’ll have a ceasefire.”

Israel waged a genocidal US-backed war on Gaza on October 7 after Hamas carried out Operation Al-Aqsa Storm against the usurping entity in retaliation for its intensified atrocities against the Palestinian people.

However, almost five months into the offensive, the Tel Aviv regime has failed to achieve its objectives of "destroying Hamas" and finding Israeli captives despite killing 29,782 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and injuring 70,043 others.

A week-long humanitarian ceasefire in late November saw an exchange of 240 Palestinian abductees held by Israel with 105 captives, including 81 Israelis and 24 foreigners, in Gaza.

Israel believes 130 captives still remain in Gaza, while there are thought to be 7,000 Palestinians in Israeli jails, many detained without charge.

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