Middle East

A truce agreement in Gaza

A fragile deal on the table between Israel and Hamas would see a temporary ceasefire, the phased release of 50 Israeli hostages and Palestinian women and children from Israeli prisons.

Why is a deal in this context so difficult to get over the line? Julian Borger, the Guardian’s world affairs editor, tells Michael Safi how the negotiations between Israel and Hamas have been mediated by Qatari officials. He also explains why the days following the deal will be fraught.

Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, has said that any ceasefire would be temporary.

“We are at war, and we will continue the war,” he said in a televised statement.

ISRAEL-PALESTINIAN-CONFLICT-PROTEST-HOSTAGES<br>Families of Israeli hostages held by Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip protest outside the ministry of defence in Tel Aviv calling on November 21, 2023, amid ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian armed group. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on November 21, that "we are making progress" on the return of hostages Hamas seized during the October 7 attacks, after mediators said a truce deal was in sight. (Photo by AHMAD GHARABLI / AFP) (Photo by AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP via Getty Images)

Photograph: Ahmad Gharabli/AFP/Getty Images

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