update deskIsrael at War

Israel confirms Hamas rejection of hostage deal

Hamas chief in Gaza Yahyah Sinwar does not want a humanitarian deal and is exploiting tensions with Iran, says Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office.

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.
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.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed early on Sunday morning that Hamas has 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,” said Netanyahu’s office.

“The rejection of the proposal by the three mediators [United States, Egypt and Qatar], which included the most significant flexibility on Israel’s part, proves that [Hamas chief in Gaza Yahya] 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,” the statement continued.

“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,” it concluded.

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 demands 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.

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