A Biden adviser is negotiating a deal for a ceasefire and the release of hostages in Gaza in the Middle East

Brett McGurk, Middle East adviser to US President Joe Biden, in a file photo. EFE/Philippe Guelland

Brett McGurkUS President Joe Biden’s Middle East adviser is currently negotiating a new ceasefire in the region in retaliation for Israel’s offensive in Gaza. hamas terrorist group The White House announced the release of the hostages in Patti on Tuesday.

White House spokesman John Kirby said at a news conference that McGurk arrived in Egypt on Monday and planned to visit other countries in the coming days to discuss “the possibility of another hostage deal, which would require a pause.” Making. A certain period of time.”

The spokesperson said this The United States will support a longer-term ceasefire than the one that ends violence in November 2023But declined to confirm whether Israel had specifically proposed a two-month ceasefire, Israeli media reported on Monday. WallaCiting two senior Israeli officials.

“The talks are very calm and serious about trying to reach another hostage agreement,” Kirby said at a regular White House briefing. He said the talks also included a debate on the length of the pause needed to free the hostages.

Kirby said McGurk was also addressing other issues during his visit, such as receiving an assessment of Israel’s military operations and efforts to protect civilians, as well as the idea of ​​normalizing relations between the Jewish state and Saudi Arabia. To search for.

Kirby reiterated Washington’s insistence that Gaza’s future post-conflict government not include Hamas leaders, saying Washington does not want its territory diminished.

Israeli soldiers walk alongside military vehicles and ambulances near the fence on Israel’s border with Gaza on January 22, 2024, as clashes continue between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas. Reuters/Amir Cohen

He said, “Whatever the regime looks like in Gaza, once it is gone, it must be representative of the aspirations of the Palestinian people, who are not represented by Hamas.”

According to Walla, the government of benjamin netanyahu They sent a proposal to the main mediators – Egypt and Qatar, proposing a ceasefire in the enclave for about two months in exchange for the release of detainees. This would also include an exchange of released Palestinian prisoners.

Israel estimates that about 136 Israeli hostages – including about 25 dead – are being held in the strip and, in recent days, the families have increased pressure on Netanyahu to reach an agreement and take steps for their release. .

So far, the prime minister has been reluctant to reach an agreement with Hamas and has been advocating military pressure as a way to regain its independence.

efe They consulted the office of the head of the Israeli government about the ceasefire proposal, but have not yet received any response.

According to Walla, Israel’s proposal is the most weighty since the war with Hamas broke out on October 7.

Israel suffers worst day of losses in Gaza, killing 24 soldiersThe army said on Tuesday its forces surrounded the main town in southern Gaza, trapping Palestinian residents trying to flee.

In late November, during a week-long ceasefire, 105 detainees were released under an agreement that also included the release of 240 Palestinian prisoners.

(With information from EFE and Reuters)

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