The vast majority of Israelis support a hostage exchange with Hamas, Israeli President Isaac Herzog said on Sunday.

“Our commitment to bringing the hostages home is unwavering,” Herzog said in a statement.

“The entire nation desires their return, with an overwhelming majority supporting the hostage exchange,” he said. “It is the state’s duty to ensure their return, which is a core part of our national consensus.”

Israeli Channel 13, 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 Hamas, with security authorities advising political leaders to capitalize on it.

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 Prime Minister Benjamin 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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