A new truce proposal between Israel and Hamas is on the table, and awaiting a response from the Palestinian Islamist movement. It contains several phases.

A new truce between Israel and Hamas was proposed, subject to conditions, on April 30. Hamas’ response is still awaited, while the Israeli government affirmed that it would not expect a response after May 1. What does this truce proposal contain?

The agreement proposes a 40-day pause in fighting, while the two sides have been in deep disagreement since initial negotiations on the terms of a ceasefire. The Palestinian Islamist movement would like it to be permanent, which Israel has always refused. This truce would be accompanied by the release of certain hostages: women, children, the elderly or those with health problems. Palestinian prisoners would also be released, around a hundred of them (who had been arrested by Israeli authorities). The agreement provides for a ratio of one hostage to 20 prisoners. In total, 33 hostages would be returned, compared to the 40 initially requested by Israel. Concerning Palestinian prisoners who could be released, the Israeli authorities have revised their criteria. Some people convicted of blood crimes or terrorism could be released.

The proposal also imagines a second phase in the truce, which this time would be 42 days. During this period, Israel demands the release of all hostages, in exchange for the release of more Palestinian prisoners. Finally, a third part is proposed by Egypt: a lasting ceasefire. This phase requires that the remains of dead hostages be returned, and Hamas must promise not to rebuild its military arsenal. Gaza will also need to be rebuilt, following a five-year reconstruction plan.

According to the United States, the agreement is “extraordinarily generous” on Israel’s part. But “Hamas probably no longer has enough hostages alive based on the criteria mentioned in the agreement,” according to David Rigoulet-Roze, associate researcher at the Institute of International and Strategic Relations (Iris), interviewed by Le Parisien . The duration of the truce is another sticking point, because Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly affirmed that he wants to carry out an assault on the city of Rafah, where more than a million Palestinians have taken refuge. An attack that he says he wants “with or without agreement”.