Israel denies progress in Gaza hostage deal


Israeli diplomatic sources have refuted US media reports of progress in truce talks with Hamas as false, describing it as "wishful thinking".

According to reports published in Ynet website, Israeli officials said the report in New York Times is "far from reality".

Israeli officials told Israel Hayom that the report "may reflect wishful thinking on the part of the Americans, or an attempt to create the appearance of a deal".

According to the officials, Israel is unaware of if Hamas has changed its stance for a ceasefire as a condition for reaching an agreement.

Citing two senior officials in the Biden administration, the New York Times report said Israel and Hamas are close to reaching a truce, brokered by the US, Qatar and others, to a two-month halt in fighting in exchange for the release of more than 100 kidnapped Israelis.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health in Gaza reported the killing 129 people overnight, as Israeli army continued to fight “intense battles” in Khan Younis, leaving many medical facilities on the verge of collapse.

Residents said Israeli planes and tanks bombed areas in northern Gaza as well, with gunfire and clashes reported in Beit Lahia and Jabalia. 

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