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Israel confirms Hamas rejected hostages-for-ceasefire deal

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Hamas chief in Gaza Yahyah Sinwar does not want a humanitarian deal and the return of the hostages and is exploiting tensions with Iran, according to the PMO.


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed early Sunday morning that Hamas rejected the latest U.S.-mediated hostages-for-ceasefire proposal.

“It has been over a week since the Cairo meeting—Hamas has rejected the outline that was tabled by the mediators,” according to a statement released by Netanyahu’s office.

“The rejection of the proposal by the three mediators [U.S., Egypt and Qatar], which included the most significant flexibility on Israel’s part, proves that [Hamas chief in Gaza Yahyah] Sinwar does not want a humanitarian deal and the return of the hostages, is continuing to exploit the tension with Iran, and is striving to unite the sectors and achieve a general escalation in the region.

“Israel will continue to strive to realize the objectives of the war with Hamas with full force, and leave no stone unturned to return the 133 hostages from Gaza forthwith,” added the statement.

According to reports, the latest proposal would have seen Jerusalem release 900 terrorist prisoners, including murderers, in exchange for 40 hostages, along with a partial IDF withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and the unrestricted return of Palestinians to the northern part of the coastal enclave.

The plan proposed that Hamas would release more hostages at a later stage following the withdrawal of all Israeli troops from Gaza.

Hamas has stuck to its maximalist positions throughout the process, demands that Jerusalem has called “delusional” and which include a “permanent ceasefire,” an Israeli military withdrawal from the coastal enclave, a return of displaced Gazans and the release of hundreds of terrorists from Israeli prisons.

Jerusalem has also maintained its war goals of freeing the hostages, eliminating Hamas as a political and military force in Gaza and ensuring that the Strip can never again threaten Israel.

Image: Israelis take part in a protest outside the Knesset in Jerusalem marking six months since the Hamas-led Oct. 7 invasion, April 7, 2024. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.

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