Why did cease-fire negotiations between Israel and Hamas stall?

  • Efforts to broker a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas stalled
  • The release of hostage list was sticking point in negotiations
  • The six-week truce would allow significant aid into Gaza

(NewsNation) — Efforts to broker a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas have hit a snag, with the release of a list of hostages emerging as a key sticking point in negotiations.

The latest proposal called for a six-week truce, which would allow significant aid into Gaza to assist civilians. Israel would receive an undisclosed number of “vulnerable” hostages. In exchange, a larger number of Palestinian detainees held in Israeli prisons would be released. Under the proposal, both sides would agree to the temporary cease-fire, providing a window for negotiations on a longer-term deal.

While both sides were close to agreeing on the framework, Hamas’ refusal to provide a list of names of living hostages has hindered progress. Hamas officials, speaking to The New Arab, indicated that they would not release the hostage information until a cease-fire was enacted.

Cenk Uygur, founder and host of “The Young Turks,” criticized Hamas’ stance, labeling it as unreasonable and detrimental to the cease-fire process. Uygur argued that the suffering of civilians in Gaza warranted immediate action, irrespective of the hostage list.

“It makes me think that there’s more dead hostages than they’re letting on. And that they might not have access to some of the hostages that might be in other radical groups,” Uygur said in a Monday interview on “Dan Abrams Live.”

More than 30,000 Palestinians have been killed and over 70,000 wounded in the Gaza Strip since Israel’s war on Hamas began nearly five months ago, health officials in the territory said.

In response, Israeli government spokesperson Eylon Levy reiterated Israel’s commitment to dismantling Hamas’ military infrastructure to prevent future threats, saying, “We want this war to end. But we know that if this war does not end with Hamas removed from power, if this war ends with Hamas on its feet and the hostages still in Gaza, there will be a next time, and it will be worse,”

Levy emphasized that Israel was actively facilitating humanitarian aid to Gaza but insisted on safeguards to prevent aid from falling into the hands of Hamas.

“We will dismantle [Hamas’] military and governing infrastructure so it can no longer govern Gaza and the way it has used it in the last 16 years to oppress the Palestinian people and terrorize Israelis,” Levy said.

Uygur questioned the effectiveness of the cease-fire, suggesting that it may not sufficiently address the needs of Palestinians in Gaza: “Israel is in the middle of doing the massacres, the war crimes, the genocide, has killed 30,000 people already. Enough, enough, enough.”

International mediators have been working for weeks to broker a deal to pause the fighting before the Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins around March 10. A deal would likely allow aid to reach hundreds of thousands of desperate Palestinians in northern Gaza, who aid officials worry are under threat of famine.

There is increasing criticism over the hundreds of thousands struggling to survive in northern Gaza, which has borne the brunt of the conflict that began when the Hamas militant group attacked southern Israel on October 7, killing 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and seizing around 250 hostages.

“We had a record number of trucks entering Gaza. Two-hundred and seventy-seven trucks — that’s on top of a quarter of a million tons of aid entering Gaza. The problem isn’t getting aid into Gaza. The problem is that the U.N. has been struggling to distribute aid at the pace that Israel is getting it in,” Levy asserted.

U.S. military planes began the first airdrops of thousands of meals into Gaza, and the militaries of Jordan and Egypt said they also conducted airdrops. Aid groups say airdrops should be only a last resort and instead urge the opening of other crossings into Gaza and the removal of obstacles at the few that are open.

Residents in northern Gaza say they are searching rubble and garbage for anything to feed their children, who barely eat one meal a day. Many families have begun mixing animal and bird food with grain to bake bread.

At least 10 children have starved to death, according to hospital records in Gaza, the World Health Organization said.

“There’s going to be no cease-fire that leaves the hostages in Gaza or Hamas in power. We do want to see a temporary pause to enable us to get the hostages out. It has been 150 days where those poor hostages are being starved and tortured, executed, raped,” Levy said.

“This is a war against Hamas, which started this brutal war on 10/7, not against the Palestinian people. And when this war is over, we hope to have new horizons for peace and coexistence.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Israel at War

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