ISRAEL + HAMAS

Israel agrees to US proposal on prisoner-hostage exchange and is awaiting Hamas’ response, CNN analyst says

Mar 24, 2024, 7:30 PM | Updated: Mar 25, 2024, 12:10 pm

Demonstrators call for the release of Israeli hostages being held by Hamas during a protest in Tel ...

Demonstrators call for the release of Israeli hostages being held by Hamas during a protest in Tel Aviv on March 17, 2024. (Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters via CNN Newsource)

(Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters via CNN Newsource)

(CNN) — Israel has agreed to a US proposal on a prisoner-hostage exchange that would release around 700 Palestinian prisoners, among them 100 serving life sentences for killing Israeli nationals, in exchange for the release of 40 Israeli hostages held by Hamas in Gaza, according to CNN analyst Barak Ravid’s reporting on the recent round of talks in Doha, Qatar.

CNN affiliate Channel 11 (Kan News) on Sunday also reported on Israel’s agreement to the US prisoner-hostage exchange proposal. Kan News cited a senior Israeli official, saying that Israel is ready to make “significant compromises in order to return the abductees home.”

Earlier in the weekend, Ravid, citing an unnamed Israeli official, tweeted that Israel agreed to a US “bridging proposal” on the number of Palestinian prisoners to be released for every hostage held by Hamas.

A diplomatic source briefed on the matter confirmed to CNN the accuracy of Ravid’s information Saturday but said outstanding issues remain, including the entry of aid and “Israeli military repositioning” in Gaza.

CNN has reached out to Israeli officials and Hamas on the status of the talks.

Israel agreed to the proposal put forth by CIA Director Bill Burns, according to Ravid. Burns was in Doha, where Hamas and Israel are engaged in talks through mediators.

Hamas’ response could take one to three days, according to Ravid, who said he has spoken to Israeli officials.

“Those details need to go from Hamas representatives in Doha, who are negotiating, to the person who really calls the shots, and this is Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar in Gaza, who is in a bunker some 100 feet under the ground, so this takes a long time,” Ravid told Omar Jimenez on “CNN Newsroom” on Sunday.

Ravid said the proposed exchange will “definitely include some” American hostages, because it will include the release of men over age 50.

Hamas’ latest proposal this month demanded that some 700 to 1,000 Palestinian prisoners be released. Israel at the time described the demands as “ridiculous” and “absurd.”

An agreement, if it happens, is expected to have multiple phases. In the first stage, Hamas has proposed releasing the hostages who are women – including Israeli soldiers – elderly, sick and wounded. That number is believed to be roughly 40 out of the around 100 hostages who remain alive.

This story and headline have been updated with additional developments.

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Israel agrees to US proposal on prisoner-hostage exchange and is awaiting Hamas’ response, CNN analyst says