Israel, Hamas Considering Larger Deal

    Photo: Alexi J. Rosenfeld/Getty Images News via Getty Images

    The Facts

    • Qatari-mediated negotiations between Israel and Hamas to extend the temporary truce that paused major hostilities last week are ongoing as the end of the truce looms; Israeli officials confirmed that another two-day extension was on the table, but that it had not yet been confirmed. On Tuesday, spy chiefs from Israel’s Mossad and the US CIA were in Qatar to "build on the progress of the extended humanitarian pause agreement and to initiate further discussions about the next phase of a potential deal."

    • The new agreement may involve Hamas releasing men or military personnel, as all other previous deals have only pertained to women and children. An Israeli spokesman said 146 Israelis and 15 foreign nationals remain in Gaza and added that "children were serially abused" while held captive.

    The Spin

    Pro-Israel narrative

    While freeing hostages is of the utmost importance, Israel must not succumb to unfair international pressure. Hamas has a history of forcing uneven deals, and the Israeli war cabinet made the right decision by weighing its options before accepting this temporary pause. It should remain clear, however, that Israel's ultimate goal is to eliminate Hamas from the Gaza Strip, and Jerusalem will continue to work toward this end even if that necessitates a resumption of conflict.

    Pro-Palestine narrative

    The Israeli military has inflicted disproportionate harm on the civilians of Gaza as opposed to on Hamas itself, and further assaults could lead to the deaths of many more. Israel has made a wise choice to bring its citizens home immediately through this temporary ceasefire, which should be extended. This will also see much-needed aid reach Gaza, where an utter humanitarian cataclysm has unfolded.

    Nerd narrative

    There is a 50% chance that at least seven Arab League member states will have normalized relations with Israel by 2027, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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