TEL AVIV, December 11. /TASS/. Israel will be ready to consider new proposals concerning the release hostages held in the Gaza Strip, but stronger military pressure on Hamas is needed for that, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said.
"I think that if we intensify military pressure, there will be proposals on new agreements on hostages. And if we have such proposals, we will consider them," he said.
Tensions flared up again in the Middle East on October 7 after militants from the Gaza Strip-based radical Palestinian group Hamas launched a surprise incursion on Israeli territory, killing many Israeli kibbutz residents living near the Gaza border and abducting more than 200 Israelis, including women, children and the elderly. Hamas described its attack as a response to Israeli authorities’ aggressive actions against the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City. Israel declared a total blockade of the Gaza Strip and launched bombardments of the enclave and some areas in Lebanon and Syria, as well as a ground operation against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Clashes are also reported in the West Bank.
On November 22, Hamas announced an agreement with Israel, which was brokered by Egypt and Qatar, on a four-day humanitarian truce in the Gaza Strip, which took effect at 7:00 a.m. local time (5:00 a.m. GMT) on November 24. The deal stipulated the release of Israeli women and children being held hostage in Gaza in exchange for the release of Palestinian women and children from Israeli prisons.
The sides extended the ceasefire several times but on the morning of December 1 the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said that Hamas had violated the truce in Gaza and opened fire on Israeli territory, thus prompting the IDF to resume combat operations in the Gaza Strip.