The leader of Hamas on November 21 said that a truce agreement with Israel was close, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he hoped for good news soon about hostages, the most optimistic signals so far of a deal to pause fighting and free captives.
Also read | Israel-Hamas war, Day 49 updates
Hamas officials were “close to reaching a truce agreement” with Israel and the group has delivered its response to Qatari mediators, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said in a statement.
A source briefed on the negotiations said the long-awaited agreement, which would see the first truce of the war and the first mass release of those held by both sides, was in its “final stages” and “closer than it has ever been”. That was echoed by a U.S. official who said it was the “closest we’ve been” to a hostage deal.
Also read | The geopolitical fallout of the Israel-Hamas war
Meanwhile, Chinese President Xi Jinping, addressing the BRICS extraordinary virtual summit on the Israel-Palestine issue, said the fundamental way out of the recurring Palestinian-Israeli conflicts is to implement the two-state solution, restore the legitimate rights of the Palestinian nation, and establish an independent State of Palestine.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa also accused Israel of war crimes and “genocide” in Gaza, as he chaired the BRICS summit. Ramaphosa called for an “immediate and comprehensive ceasefire” and the deployment of a U.N. force “to monitor the cessation of hostilities and protect civilians.”
(With inputs from agencies)
Here are the updates: