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Israel said to offer two-month pause in Gaza fighting for staged release of hostages

The Times of Israel reports: “Israel has reportedly submitted a proposal through Qatari and Egyptian mediators that would see it agree to pause its military offensive against Hamas for as long as two months, in exchange for a phased release of the remaining 136 hostages in Gaza.

The proposal does not heed the Hamas demand for Israel to end the war completely, but does appear to go further than Israel has gone in previous offers, according to the Axios news site, which cited two Israeli officials.

The offer was publicized as White House Middle East czar Brett McGurk was in the region for meetings with Egyptian and Qatari counterparts aimed at advancing a hostage deal, a US official told The Times of Israel.

Israel is now waiting for Hamas’s response to the new proposal and is cautiously optimistic about the chance for progress in the coming days, the Israeli officials said to Axios…”

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