Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has turned down the latest truce offer from Hamas and said that a total victory in Gaza is within reach.
Netanyahu added that Israel has no alternative but to bring about the end of Hamas.
“The day after is the day after Hamas. All of Hamas,” he told a press conference on February 7.
Earlier, Hamas had proposed a four-and-a-half-month ceasefire during which all hostages would go free, Israel would withdraw its troops from the Gaza Strip, and an agreement would be reached on an end to the war.
The Hamas offer comes in response to an earlier proposal drawn up by US and Israeli spy chiefs that was delivered to Hamas last week by Qatari and Egyptian mediators.
According to reports in the Israeli press, officials rejected the plan as some aspects were unacceptable. The details of which were not known.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed the offer with Netanyahu after arriving in Israel yesterday following talks with the leaders of Qatar and Egypt.
Major gaps continue to persist with Israel saying that it would not pull its troops out of Gaza or end the war until Hamas is wiped out, while Hamas wants Israeli troops out of Gaza.
The Hamas Truce Offer
According to Reuters, Hamas has proposed a three-phase truce offer.
In the first 45-day phase, all Israeli women hostages, males under 19 and the elderly and sick would be released in exchange for Palestinian women and children held in Israeli jails. Israel would withdraw troops from Gaza’s populated areas.
In the second phase, Hamas would release the remaining male hostages and Tel Aviv would withdraw its troops from all of Gaza.
In the third phase, the remains of the dead would be exchanged.
Over 27,000 Palestinians have been killed in the Israeli offensive in Gaza, which started after Hamas killed 1200 people and took 253 hostages in southern Israel on October 7.