Egypt’s Ambitious Peace Plan: Could Ceasefire & Hostage Swaps Break The Cycle In Gaza?

Knowing how the situation in Gaza continues to worsen with a death toll of over 20,000, some efforts are being put to reach a solution. Egypt recently proposed a solution, one that involves multiple steps that will gradually see the full withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza and the formation of a unified Palestinian government. The main aim of the plan is for a complete ceasefire as well as the release of hostages. To bring the plan into formation, Egypt first proposes to begin the plan by having Hamas release hostages from Gaza in exchange for the release of several Palestinians held in Israeli prisons. Once the hostages are released, they propose having a truce and pause that would last 7 to 10 days.

The next step is the second stage of the plan which is to once again release another set of hostages with this time having Hamas release all female Israeli soldiers being held captive in exchange for Israel releasing Palestinian prisoners. There will be another truce for at least one week following the release of the hostages. The final stage is the release of the remaining hostages as well as the Israeli forces pulling back to the Gaza border and stopping all aerial attacks on the strip.

For a semblance of hope, the Israel’s war cabinet are set to discuss the proposal on Monday. There are talks however that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not likely to fully accept the proposal knowing that he wants to fully eliminate Hamas. Beyond Netanayahu, the proposal does face significant resistance from Hamas and the Islamic Jihad who both rejected the plan with their main issue being ceding control of Gaza. To Hamas, their priority is to put an end to the Israeli violence and to increase aid to Palestinians before they move forward with discussions on prisoner exchange.

In the meantime, the fighting continues across the Gaza strip, with hundreds getting killed. Along with that, Gaza suffers from a shortage of essential supplies including food, water and medicine.

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