Israel will allow the exile of Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar from the Gaza Strip in exchange for the release of all remaining 136 hostages, NBC reported on Thursday, citing six Israeli officials and senior advisers.
According to the report, Israeli officials have floated the idea of allowing Sinwar to “leave like [Yasser] Arafat left Lebanon.”
Arafat fled the Lebanese capital of Beirut in 1982 after an agreement between the US and the European government guaranteed his safe passage to Tunisia by boat. Now, an Israeli source told NBC, Sinwar could be set to make a similar exit from the Gaza Strip.
“We will allow it to happen as long as all of the hostages are released,” NBC cited a senior adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as saying.
Israel leaning toward exile of terror leaders from Gaza
Earlier this week, it was reported in Israeli media that Jerusalem and Washington have recently been discussing a plan for the exile of senior Hamas members as part of a wider ceasefire and hostage deal under discussion.
Officials in Netanyahu’s inner circle stated in recent closed-door discussions that this is a very favorable option for Israel, as “the implication of the exile is the end of Hamas leadership.”
There were reports in the past of a new proposal by mediators that included the exile of Hamas leaders from the Gaza Strip to a third country. According to the report, in exchange for this, Hamas would release all the Israeli captives it holds, but it would be done in stages until the withdrawal of IDF troops from Gaza.