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Israel gives okay to prisoner swap, awaits Hamas' response: Israeli media

Anadolu Agency MIDDLE EAST
Published November 20,2023
(File Photo)

Israeli authorities have given a green light for the completion of a prisoner swap deal, and are now awaiting a response from Palestinian group Hamas, Israeli state media reported on Monday.

According to public broadcaster KAN, Israel is closer than ever before to striking a prisoner swap deal.

It added that "now the ball is in Hamas' court," and that if the group responds positively, a prisoner deal will be "achievable."

Early on Monday, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said the U.S. continues to work on the release of the Israeli captives in Gaza.

"We are close and hope that a deal can be reached, but there is still work to be done," he said.

According to Israeli official estimates, some 240 people have been held in captivity in Gaza since Oct. 7.

Hamas' Al-Qassam Brigades, for its part, said in an earlier statement that it holds in its captivity some 200-250 people, including Israeli soldiers and civilians, but later announced that a number of them were killed during Israeli airstrikes across Gaza since Oct. 7.