Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu Rejects Hamas’s Proposed Terms for Gaza Ceasefire


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has dismissed the ceasefire terms proposed by Hamas, stating that a “total victory” in Gaza could be achieved within months. This statement came after Hamas presented a series of demands in response to an Israel-supported ceasefire proposal. Netanyahu described the negotiations with Hamas as unproductive and their terms as “bizarre”.

Netanyahu stated at a press conference on Wednesday that the only solution is a “complete and final victory”. He warned that if Hamas remains in Gaza, another massacre is inevitable. The Israeli government’s response to Hamas’s counteroffer is a clear rejection, viewing any attempt by Hamas to end the war on their terms as completely unacceptable.

Sami Abu Zuhri, a senior Hamas official, dismissed Netanyahu’s comments as “political bravado”, indicating his intention to continue the conflict. Despite this, an Egyptian official source informed the BBC that another round of negotiations, mediated by Egypt and Qatar, is scheduled for Thursday in Cairo.

Qatar has described Hamas’s response as “positive”, contrasting with Netanyahu’s rejection of the “delusional” plan. The proposed deal by Hamas includes a 45-day pause in fighting, during which all Israeli women hostages, males under 19, the elderly and sick would be exchanged for Palestinian women and children held in Israeli jails. Israeli forces would withdraw from populated areas of Gaza, and the reconstruction of hospitals and refugee camps would begin.

Netanyahu also confirmed that Israeli forces have been ordered to prepare to operate in Rafah, a southern Gaza city where many Palestinians have sought refuge from the fighting. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that expanding the conflict into Rafah would significantly worsen the existing humanitarian crisis.

The US has been pushing for a deal, with top diplomat Antony Blinken describing it as “the best path forward”. However, Netanyahu’s comments underscore the ongoing disparity between US and Israel’s visions for Gaza’s future. The pressing issue now is whether the negotiations can be salvaged to facilitate another exchange of hostages and prisoners, and a much-needed humanitarian pause to allow more aid into Gaza.

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