Netanyahu says Hamas’ demands on hostage and ceasefire deal are ‘delusional’

Smoke billows during an Israeli bombardment of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on Tuesday amid ongoing battles between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas.
Published February 8, 2024
CNN — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has dismissed Hamas’ proposals for a ceasefire and hostage deal in Gaza as “delusional,” in a setback to diplomatic efforts to pause the war.

Speaking to reporters, Netanyahu insisted that there was no alternative to “complete victory” over Hamas in Gaza.

Netanyahu’s hawkish response came hours after he met with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and is a blow to the intensifying efforts aimed at securing a breakthrough in the conflict. But the Israeli leader notably did not suggest that Israel would abandon the ongoing discussions mediated by regional powers including Qatar and Egypt, and Blinken said later that there was still a path to a deal.

The Hamas proposal envisaged a three-stage process over four-and-a-half months, during which Israeli troops would gradually withdraw from the enclave, hostages would be released and Palestinian prisoners in Israel would be freed, according to a copy of the group’s counteroffer obtained by CNN.

But Netanyahu repudiated the proposal. “We haven’t committed to any of the delusional demands of Hamas,” he said. “There is not a commitment – there has to be a negotiation, it’s a process, and at the moment, from what I see from Hamas, it’s not happening.”



RELATED: Netanyahu calls Hamas ceasefire proposal ‘delusional’ but Blinken sees scope for progress

Published February 8, 2024
DOHA/TEL AVIV, Feb 7 (Reuters) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday rejected Hamas’ latest offer for a ceasefire and return of hostages held in the Gaza Strip, but U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said there was still room for negotiation toward an agreement.
Hamas, the Palestinian militant group that rules Gaza, proposed a ceasefire of 4-1/2 months, during which all hostages would go free, Israel would withdraw its troops from Gaza and an agreement would be reached on an end to the war.
The Hamas offer, which was first reported by Reuters, was a response to an earlier proposal drawn up by U.S. and Israeli spy chiefs and delivered to Hamas last weekby Qatari and Egyptian mediators.
Calling Hamas’ position “delusional,” Netanyahu renewed a pledge to destroy the Islamist movement, saying there was no alternative for Israel but to bring about its collapse.
“The day after is the day after Hamas. All of Hamas,” he told a press conference, insisting that total victory against Hamas was the only solution to the four-month-old Gaza war.


RELATED: PM: Absolute victory within reach; surrender to Hamas demands would bring disaster

Netanyahu downplays disagreements in cabinet over ‘day after’ plans, says he is trying to recruit regional players to help with future civil governance, vows UNRWA will be replaced

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a press conference in Jerusalem, February 7, 2024. (Sam Sokol / Times of Israel)
Published February 7, 2024

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected Hamas’s “delusional” conditions for a new hostage deal on Wednesday, arguing that only military pressure will secure the release of the Israelis being held captive in the Gaza Strip.

Speaking with reporters during a press conference in Jerusalem, Netanyahu insisted that he had made no specific promises regarding the release of Palestinian security prisoners with blood on their hands, or any ratio for Palestinian prisoners to be freed in return for hostages in a potential deal, declaring that Israel “has not committed to anything.”

“There is supposed to be some kind of negotiation via the intermediaries. But right now, given what I see from the response by Hamas [to the Israel-backed framework for talks on a deal], they’re not there,” he said.

“Surrender to Hamas’s delusional demands, that we’ve just heard, not only would not bring about the freedom of the hostages, but it would only invite an additional slaughter; it would invite disaster for Israel that no Israeli citizens want,” he said.




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