Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to meet top security officials Sunday evening to discuss hostage exchange negotiations with Hamas, according to Israeli media.

During the meeting, Netanyahu will decide on the makeup of the negotiating team that will head to Qatar for the negotiations, Israeli Channel 13 reported.

The channel, citing Mossad sources, said Israeli officials are optimistic about reaching a deal to bring back Israeli hostages from Gaza.

The sources said Israel views the current moment as “opportune” for reaching an agreement, with security authorities advising political leaders to capitalize on it.

According to Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, the negotiating team plans to depart Israel on Monday for the hostage swap deal with Hamas.

For months, efforts by the U.S., Qatar, and Egypt to mediate an agreement between Israel and Hamas for a hostage exchange and cease-fire have been hampered by Netanyahu’s rejection of Hamas’s call to halt hostilities.

Israel, flouting a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire, has faced international condemnation amid its continued brutal offensive on Gaza since an Oct. 7, 2023 attack by the Palestinian group Hamas.

More than 38,150 Palestinians have since been killed, mostly women and children, and over 87,800 others injured, according to local health authorities.

Nine months into the Israeli war, vast tracts of Gaza lie in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, whose latest ruling ordered it to immediately halt its military operation in the southern city of Rafah, where over a million Palestinians had sought refuge from the war before it was invaded on May 6.

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