Netanyahu rejects Hamas cease-fire demands

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected Hamas cease-fire demands on Wednesday, vowing to fight on until “absolute victory.”

Netanyahu made the comments shortly after meeting with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who arrived in the region Tuesday night after meeting with leaders of Qatar and Egypt in the most serious diplomatic push of the war to secure a cease-fire agreement. Through these diplomatic channels, Hamas presented Israel with a proposal for a three-stage cease-fire that would last for 135 days and culminate in the end of the war.

“Surrendering to Hamas’s delusional demands that we heard now not only won’t lead to freeing the captives, it will just invite another massacre,” Netanyahu said in a nationally televised news conference Wednesday evening, according to the Associated Press.

“We are on the way to an absolute victory,” Netanyahu said, adding that the war would last months, not years. “There is no other solution.”

The Israeli prime minister ruled out any arrangement that leaves Hamas in full or partial control of Gaza. He also said that Israel is the “only power” capable of guaranteeing Gazan security in the long term.

Earlier, Blinken said that “a lot of work” remains to bridge the gap between Israel and Hamas on terms for any deal. He is expected to hold his own news conference later Wednesday.

According to a draft document seen by Reuters, the Hamas proposal envisions three phases lasting 45 days each. The first phase would see the release of all Israeli women hostages, males under 19, the elderly, and the sick in exchange for the release of Palestinian women and children from Israeli jails. All remaining Israeli male hostages would be released during the second phase, and the remains of prisoners, hostages, and soldiers exchanged in the third phase. By the end of the third phase, Hamas would expect the sides to have reached agreement on an end to the war.

Hamas’s proposal remained heavily lopsided. The terrorist group demanded, in an addendum, the additional release of 1,500 prisoners — a third of whom they wanted to select from a list of Palestinians handed life sentences by Israel, a list that includes Palestinians who have murdered and terrorized Israeli citizens.

Before Hamas’s proposal was officially presented to Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister expressed his unwillingness to offer concessions to Hamas.

“We will not withdraw the IDF from the Gaza Strip and we will not release thousands of terrorists. None of this will happen. What will happen? Total victory!” Netanyahu said in a speech that was posted to X on January 30, while addressing students at a religious institution in the West Bank.

“I hear talk about all kinds of deals. I would like to make it clear: We will not conclude this war without achieving all of its goals. This means eliminating Hamas, returning all of our hostages and ensuring that Gaza never again constitutes a threat to Israel.”

Dan Butcher

Dan Butcher (aka HP Pundit) is not a Democrat or Republican. He is a free thinking independent bringing you news and commentary with a dose of much needed common sense.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post