According to reports, Yahya Sinwar is in charge of the deal and has been in constant touch with Qatari mediators.
The Hamas leader had reportedly spent 22 years in Israeli prison previously.
A non-Israeli source with personal knowledge of Sinwar said that he is a “sociopath”.“He would think nothing of sacrificing tens of thousands of lives, and more, to achieve his goals, ” he added.
Benjamin Netanyahu has described Sinwar as a “dead man,” according to the Telegraph.
Israeli defence officials reportedly told Haaretz newspaper that they were concerned that Sinwar was still “euphoric” after the events on October 7 and was sticking to hard-line negotiating positions.
They said a deal should be concluded at the earliest as Sinwar could sever communications in the event of an escalation in the war. Israeli officials are reportedly finalising plans for “targeted” raids into southern Gaza, where hundreds of thousands of civilians have fled.
Sinwar had earlier paused talks after an Israeli raid on Al-Shifa hospital. But later had resumed talks with Qatari mediators and was getting closer to a deal. Instead of releasing 50 hostages, he might release more, according to the Telegraph.
Sinwar’s condition is that Israel stops using aerial surveillance of Gaza during the ceasefire
Neither Israel nor Qatar have confirmed they were talking to Sinwar.
However, Telegraph quoted Gershon Baskin, an Israeli negotiator as saying that he was sceptical that Sinwar was personally negotiating because of the security implications.
“It’s too dangerous to him: Very unlikely that he would talk directly with Israel or that Israel would talk directly with him,” he said.