Hamas, which until now demanded a definitive ceasefire in Gaza before any exchange of Israeli hostages for Palestinian prisoners, is now ready for a six-week truce, an official of the Islamist movement told AFP Palestinian.

As part of this truce, 42 hostages – women, children, elderly and sick people – could be released in exchange for 20 to 50 Palestinian prisoners, depending on whether the hostages are civilians or soldiers, and at the rate of one hostage per day, added this official on condition of anonymity. This is much less than what Hamas has demanded so far, which has therefore agreed to change its position.

Around 250 people were kidnapped and taken to Gaza during the unprecedented attack on October 7 by Hamas commandos in southern Israel, which left at least 1,160 people dead, most civilians, according to an AFP count based on official Israeli data. According to Israel, 130 hostages from October 7 are still detained in Gaza, of whom 32 are believed to be dead.

During this possible six-week truce, the Islamist movement also demands the “withdrawal of the army from all towns and populated areas”, the “return of the displaced without restrictions” and the entry of at least 500 aid trucks humanitarian aid per day, this official further explained. At the end of this first phase, Hamas intends to achieve a “comprehensive exchange of prisoners”, including the “release of captured Israeli officers and soldiers and those killed by Hamas and other movements” in exchange for prisoners. Palestinians at an unspecified ratio, the official continued.

In exchange for this agreement, the Islamist movement demands a “complete withdrawal” of the Israeli army from the Gaza Strip – where the Israeli military operation has so far caused nearly 31,500 deaths, according to Hamas -, “reconstruction” and the end of the blockade to which the territory has been subject since Hamas took power in 2007.

In a statement released Thursday evening, the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu judged that “Hamas continues to maintain unrealistic demands.”