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Hamas Says Israeli Proposal Fails To Meet Palestinian Demands, But It Is Under Review

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Source: @IsraeliPM

Hamas has rejected on Tuesday a proposal that it had received from Qatari and Egyptian mediators, stating that the proposal for a ceasefire in Gaza did not meet any of the demands of the Palestinian factions. The group stated this in an early morning statement where it called the proposal “intransigent.” However, it stated to Qatari and Egyptian mediators that it would review the proposal. The statement comes after efforts, to free the over 100 hostages still being held by the group in Gaza.

Israel is said to have proposed the release of some 40 hostages in exchange for a temporary truce. It will also release hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, including some convicted of deadly terror attacks. Hamas wants a withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza, the return of displaced Palestinians to their homes, reconstruction of the damage in Gaza from Israel’s military, and a “completion of a prisoner exchange deal” involving a mutual release of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Israeli hostages held in Gaza.

Signs of hope for a deal were on the horizon when Israeli troops pulled out from southern Gaza on Sunday. However, the IDF has said in a statement that if needed, it will “recuperate and prepare for future operations.”

The Cairo talks have resumed and are being conducted indirectly. Israel and Hamas have sent teams to Egypt, and they are speaking indirectly to Egyptian and Qatari mediators there. CIA director William Burns is there as well.

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Meanwhile, in Jerusalem on Monday, a day after Israeli forces pulled back from some areas of southern Gaza, Netanyahu said he had received a detailed report on the talks in Cairo.

“We are constantly working to achieve our goals, first and foremost the release of all our hostages and achieving a complete victory over Hamas,” Netanyahu said.

“This victory requires entry into Rafah and the elimination of the terrorist battalions there. It will happen – there is a date.” He did not specify the date.