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Read a live blog on the crisis in the Middle East from Thursday, January 25 here

Read a live blog on the crisis in the Middle East from Thursday, January 25 here

Hamas says it will release all hostages if Israel releases all Palestinian prisoners. Osama Hamdan, head of Hamas in Lebanon, said this at a press conference in Lebanon. The hostage situation marks a breaking point in negotiations between Israel and Hamas for a break in the fighting.

So far, proposals between Hamas and Israel have yielded no results. Earlier this week, according to US media, Israel proposed a two-month truce if Hamas would release more than 130 hostages from the Gaza Strip. Also, Israel would be willing to release Palestinian prisoners. Israel has denied the report.

Hamas has repeatedly said it will only discuss the release of the hostages if Israel stops its attacks on Gaza. According to figures from the Palestinian human rights organization Adamir, releasing all Palestinian prisoners in Israel would free about 7,000 people.

US CIA Director William Burns will hold talks with Israeli, Egyptian and Qatari officials in the coming days about a ceasefire and the release of the hostages, the Washington Post reported. The United States, Egypt and Qatar have positioned themselves as mediators between Israel and Hamas.

ANP / EPA – Israeli demonstrators in Tel Aviv on Wednesday called on the Israeli government to quickly reach an agreement to release hostages.

Hamas has also said that if the International Court of Justice decides to call for a ceasefire, it will abide by it. An interim ruling is expected to be released tomorrow on the question of whether Israel should stop attacking the Gaza Strip in the genocide case filed in the South African court. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has already announced an end to the fighting in defiance of a court order.

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