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Gaza Ceasefire: Israel’s Netanyahu Rejects Hamas’ Proposed ‘Bizarre’ Conditions

“If Hamas will survive in Gaza, it’s only a question of time until the next massacre.”

FILE PHOTO: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gestures during a weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, April 14, 2019. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun/File Photo – RC1B5C84BD30

Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has rejected the criteria that Hamas had provided for a ceasefire, claiming that “total victory” in Gaza could be achieved in a few months.

He said this while addressing a set of requests made by Hamas in reaction to a ceasefire plan that was supported by Israel.

Mr. Netanyahu called the group’s conditions “bizarre” and stated that talks with them were “not going anywhere”.

The goal of reaching a settlement is still being discussed.

Speaking to a news conference on Wednesday, Netanyahu said, “There is no other solution but a complete and final victory.

“If Hamas will survive in Gaza, it’s only a question of time until the next massacre.”

Although it was expected that Israel would object to Hamas’s counter-offer, this reaction is an unequivocal rejection, and Israeli authorities obviously view any attempt by Hamas to bring the conflict to a conclusion on its terms as wholly unacceptable.

A senior Hamas leader, Sami Abu Zuhri, said that Netanyahu’s comments “are a form of political bravado” and indicate his intention to continue the bloodshed in the region.

According to an official Egyptian source, fresh talks between Egypt and Qatar are still scheduled to take place in Cairo on Thursday.

According to the source, Egypt has urged all sides to exhibit the essential adaptability in order to come to a peaceful resolution.

Netanyahu’s denial of a “delusional” plot stands in sharp contrast to Qatar’s comments characterising Hamas’s reaction as “positive”.

On Tuesday, Hamas presented its counteroffer to the ceasefire deal.

Reuters news agency obtained a draft of the Hamas manifesto that contained the following terms:

Phase one: 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.

Phase two: Remaining male Israeli hostages would be exchanged for Palestinian prisoners and Israeli forces leave Gaza completely.

Phase three: Both sides would exchange remains and bodies.

As part of the planned agreement, more food and other humanitarian supplies would be sent to Gaza. Following the 135-day ceasefire, Hamas said that ceasefire talks would be completed.

The Hamas strikes on southern Israel on October 7, of last year, claimed the lives of almost 1,300 people.

According to the health ministry administered by Hamas, Israel’s counterattack has resulted in more than 27,700 Palestinian deaths and at least 65,000 injuries.

Ozioma Samuel-Ugwuezi

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