Israel-Hamas war live: Hamas says temporary 'truce' is close

Tuesday, 21 November 2023 (15:39 IST)
The militant group Hamas has said it was inching closer to a "truce."
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, who lives in Qatar where Hamas has a political office, said in a statement released on Telegram and carried by news agencies that "we are close to reaching a deal on a truce." He did not elaborate on details. 
Negotiators, including Qatari mediators, have been working toward a deal that would secure the release of the more than 200 hostages being held in Gaza since the October 7 attacks.
The US government has also said that a potential deal is close.
"We believe we're getting closer," said White House national security spokesman John Kirby.
"We're still working this hour by hour," Kirby added.
In earlier comments, Kirby said negotiators were prioritizing the release of women, children and US citizens.
US President Joe Biden has also said a deal is near.
Israel has not yet commented on the latest statements by Hamas concerning the potential truce. 
Hamas is designated as a terrorist organization by several countries including the US, Israel and Germany, as well as the European Union.
ICRC president talks 'humanitarian issues' with Hamas leader
The president of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has met with the leader of the militant group Hamas in Qatar to "advance humanitarian issues," the committee said on Monday.
ICRC President Mirjana Spoljaric met Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, then separately met Qatari authorities acting as mediators in the conflict.
The meeting was part of discussions with all parties to the conflict to improve respect for international humanitarian law.
The ICRC is not involved in the negotiations surrounding the hostages' release, the committee said. 
Over 10,000 Israeli troops in Gaza, report says
More than 10,000 Israeli soldiers are currently deployed in the Gaza Strip as part of Israel's ground offensive, Israeli newspaper Haaretz cited the Israeli army as saying.
Most of the troops are located in the Gaza City neighborhoods of Zeitoun and Jabalia, according to Haaretz.
It added that several Israeli forces have been killed by friendly fire since the start of the offensive in late October.
The incidents are being investigated to draw out future lessons, the military said. 
Israeli media has put the military death toll since the offensive began at 66 soldiers.

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