TEL AVIV, Nov 17 Not achieved at the moment There are no agreements on the release of hostages held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip, the head of Israel's National Security Council, Tzachi Hanegbi, said on Friday.
“At this stage there is no deal, there is no agreement on any of the issues on the agenda… If there is such a deal, it will lead to the fact that many families will be able to reunite with their loved ones,” Hanegbi said at a press conference .
The official added that Israel would agree to a very short ceasefire only after the release of a “significant” number of hostages.
On October 7, Israel was subjected to an unprecedented-scale rocket attack from the Gaza Strip as part of Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, announced by the military wing of the Palestinian Hamas movement. After this, the organization’s fighters entered the border areas in southern Israel, where they opened fire on both military and civilians, and also took more than 200 hostages. In Israel, according to the latest data from the authorities, about 1.2 thousand people were killed, this number includes civilians, soldiers, foreign citizens and workers, and it was also reported that more than 5 thousand were injured.
In response, the Israel Defense Forces launched Operation Iron Swords against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Within a few days, the Israeli military took control of all populated areas near the border with Gaza and began carrying out air strikes on targets, including civilians, in the strip. Israel also announced a complete blockade of the Gaza Strip: the supply of water, food, electricity, medicine, and fuel was stopped.
The ground phase of the Israeli operation in the enclave began at the end of October. Gaza City was surrounded by Israeli ground forces, and the enclave was effectively divided into southern and northern parts.
The death toll in Israeli strikes on the Gaza Strip exceeded 11.5 thousand people, and more than 29 thousand people were injured. The Russian Embassy reported that during the escalation of the conflict, 20 Russians were killed, two were taken hostage, and seven were listed as missing. According to various sources, about 150 Israelis may be held captive by Hamas. The movement itself stated that there are about 200-250 prisoners in the Gaza Strip.
The Russian Foreign Ministry called on the parties to stop hostilities. According to the position of Russian President Vladimir Putin, the settlement of the Middle East crisis is possible only on the basis of a “two-state” formula approved by the UN Security Council, which provides for the creation of an independent Palestinian state within the 1967 borders with its capital in East Jerusalem.
The Palestinian-Israeli conflict, related to the territorial interests of the parties, has been a source of tension and clashes in the region for many decades. A UN decision with the active role of the USSR in 1947 determined the creation of two states – Israel and Palestine, but only the Israeli one was created.