A hostage deal must be completed quickly, the military wing of HAMAS says.

 Gaza Strip border, in southern Israel, 21 December 2023. EFE/EPA/ABIR SULTAN

,- The spokesman of Hamas' armed wing warns that time is running out for a possible agreement to free hostages. "The ball is in the court" of Israel, he underlined in a video message broadcast by Al Jazeera on Tuesday, but he also warned that chances for discussion are fast running out.

Abu Obeida made a melancholic analogy by bringing up the case of Ron Arad, an Israeli airman who vanished in 1986 after being taken prisoner by terrorist in Lebanon. The allusion is a sharp reminder of the uncertainty that captives and their families endure.

About 250 hostages were taken by Hamas during the extensive attack into Israel on October 7, which also resulted in the terrible death toll of about 1,200 people, most of them citizens. This act was the impetus for the Gaza War, which has claimed an astounding number of lives—over 34,000 Palestinians, according to local health authorities.

Lead by the US, Qatar, and Egypt, efforts to negotiate a cease-fire and obtain the release of hostages have been hampered by ongoing deadlocks. While Israel is determined to carry out its offensive till it destroys the terrorist organisation, Hamas demands that the battle end.

With his accusation of the enemy of continuing a cycle of violence marked by "massacres, destruction, and killing" for the previous 200 days, Abu Obeida demonstrated a strong defiance in the face of continuing conflicts.

The circumstances emphasise how urgently diplomatic attempts to break the deadlock and stop more deaths are needed. The captives' predicament highlights the human cost of protracted wars and the necessity of peaceful solutions.

(Newsline Paper/Teams)

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