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Israel confirms deaths of 31 hostages in Hamas custody

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Israel confirms deaths of 31 hostages in Hamas custody

Tel Aviv, Feb 7 (IANS) Israel has confirmed the death of 31 of the 136 hostages in the custody of Hamas in Gaza.

The army has informed families of those hostages about the death of their loved one’s, IDF said in a statement on Tuesday.

The Israel army, military Intelligence and Intelligence agencies have communicated this matter to the international negotiators including the US, Qatar and Egypt who are working over time for a ceasefire to the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas.

Israel and Hamas had agreed upon for a one week ceasefire from November 24 to December 1 due to the efforts of the US, Qatar and Egypt. During the brief one week truce,105 of the 253 hostages in Hamas custody were released and 324 Palestine prisoners in Israel jails were also released as a reciprocatory gesture.

Meanwhile, Qatar Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed Al -Thani has in a statement said that the discussions for a second ceasefire is at an advanced stage and that he expect an end to the confusion in a few days from now.

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Israel has agreed upon for a month long truce wherein 35 of the Israeli hostages in Hamas custody would be released. Israel would also release a good number of Palestinians from Israeli prisons as part of the deal.

However, according to Qatar and Egyptian negotiators, Hamas wants a permanent end of the war and the withdrawal of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), which has been denied by Israel.

With the negotiations and mediatory talks taking place at a feverish pace, the possibilities of reaching a ceasefire (at least one month) are high on cards, and according to the Prime Minister of Qatar, who is playing a significant role in mediatory talks, the ceasefire is imminent.

–IANS

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