Israel, Qatar and US say Hamas hostage crisis could be resolved in 'hours'

The news comes as the exact number of hostages left waiting to return home in Gaza is laid bare.

Hamas share footage of three Israeli hostages

Israel, the United States and Qatar are all signaling that a deal with Hamas to release the hostages taken during the October 7 attack could be struck today.

The news comes as the exact number of Israeli hostages that remain in Gaza is revealed to be slightly above 50, including 40 children, according to the Jerusalem Post.

Israel and Hamas might agree to a five-day ceasefire in the ongoing 46-day war to release the hostages in exchange for some Palestinian prisoners held in Israel.

"I hope we will have good news soon," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reservists on Tuesday, the New York Times reports.

If a deal is struck on Tuesday, hostages may be released as soon as Thursday after a one-day judicial review.

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Families Of Hostages March From Tel Aviv To Jerusalem

About 50 hostages are still left waiting to return home in Gaza, per reports (Image: Getty)

The move is in keeping with recent updates in the country's siege on Gaza, which is ruled by Hamas. In recent days, the Israeli military has allowed thousands of its reservists to return home, as it seeks to stimulate its economy and ramp down its war effort.

Speaking to reporters at the White House on Tuesday morning, President Joe Biden shared in Netanyahu's optimism.

"We’re now very close, very close," Biden said. "We could bring some of these hostages home very soon. I don’t want to get into the details of things because nothing is done until it’s done.

"And when we have more to say we will. But things are looking good at the moment."


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: "I hope we will have good news soon." (Image: Getty)

Fueling speculation that a pause in the war and a hostage release could be coming soon, Netanyahu's senior adviser Mark Regev told BBC Radio 4's the World at One: "It's possible that it's close, but it's not done until it's done... a deal is indeed possible but we can't yet say it's a done deal yet... I hope we will see the release of our people shortly... but I am still not 100% sure."

The top Netanyahu adviser said any deal could be reached in a matter of "hours," though there might be a hold-up if Hamas insists on releasing any Palestinians imprisoned in Israel for "killing people."

"There's been arrangement in the past whereby families of those people who were killed by these individuals can petition the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court does a hearing which would take a few hours as well," he added.

That may not prove to be a problem, as all parties involve seem to suggest that the deal is basically finalized.

On Tuesday, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh posted a message on Telegram that follows the lines of Israel, the US and Qatar.

"We are close to reaching a deal on a truce," Haniyeh said.

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Pro-Palestine Local Demonstration In London

Demonstrators across the US and the UK have called for a ceasefire since the beginning of the war (Image: Getty)

The most recent Israel-Hamas skirmish began when Hamas fighters stormed into the Israeli border on October 7, killing 1,200 people and taking about 250 hostages back into Gaza.

Israel has occupied various Palestinian territories since its inception in 1948, with settlements continuing to thrive in the West Bank. The Jewish-majority nation has also blockaded Gaza since 2007, monitoring the movement of nearly all goods and people into the tiny strip of land.

Qatar, the oil-rich Gulf nation brokering talks between Hamas and Israel, has also said a deal could be reached soon.

Majed al-Ansari, a spokesman for Qatar's foreign ministry, told reporters that the talks were "at the closest point we ever have been in reaching an agreement."

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