Hamas offers to release 70 hostages in exchange for five-day truce

A view shows houses and buildings destroyed by Israeli strikes in Gaza City, October 10, 2023. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

The armed wing of Palestinian militant group Hamas said on Monday they told Qatari mediators that the group is ready to release up to 70 women and children held in Gaza in return for a five-day truce.

“The truce should include a complete ceasefire and allowing aid and humanitarian relief everywhere in the Gaza Strip,” Abu Ubaida, the spokesman for the armed wing of Hamas, Alqassam Brigades, said in a recorded audio published on the group’s Telegram channel.

He went on to accuse Israel of “procrastinating and evading” the price of the deal.

Israel launched its campaign last month to annihilate Hamas, the militant group that runs the Gaza Strip, after Hamas gunmen rampaged through southern Israel killing civilians. Around 1,200 people died and 240 were dragged to Gaza as hostages according to Israel’s tally.

The total death toll in the Gaza Strip rose to 11,240 on Monday, according to the media office of the Hamas-controlled government in the Israeli-besieged enclave. The toll since Oct. 7 includes 4,630 children and 3,130 women, according to the media office spokesperson.