Israel rejects hostage deal with Hamas – media — RT World News

The proposal included an exchange of prisoners and a sustainable end to hostilities, according to Axios

Israel has rejected a new hostage deal proposed by the Palestinian group Hamas, which would have led to a long-term ceasefire, with the gradual withdrawal of West Jerusalem forces from Gaza, Axios reported Monday, citing sources.

The proposal was presented to Israel through Qatari and Egyptian mediators on Sunday, according to Israeli officials and another source familiar with the matter.

Hamas has reportedly offered to end hostilities in three stages. Each one is said to include a cessation of fighting for more than a month in exchange for the release of hostages held by the group. In the first phase, Israel was going to begin withdrawing its forces from Gaza in exchange for the release of about 40 hostages. The deal would also likely include the release of an unspecified number of Palestinian prisoners in West Jerusalem, according to the report.

Under the terms of the aforementioned agreement, the two parties would have ended the war, which had been raging since early October, once the third phase was implemented, while Hamas would release the captured Israeli soldiers.

The Israeli Defense Cabinet discussed the proposal, but rejected it as unacceptable, according to the article. One Israeli official told Axios that the offer was so “This is absolutely not true and we have asked the mediators to try to present a more acceptable proposal.” However, the outlet's sources said the proposal means Hamas is ready to negotiate.

A Hamas delegation went to Cairo in late December to discuss the Egyptian proposal to end hostilities. Several media reports indicated that, in addition to an extendable ceasefire and the release of hostages held by Hamas and Palestinian prisoners, the agreement also includes the formation of a technocratic government in the Strip after a dialogue with all Palestinian factions.

On October 7, Hamas took about 240 Israelis hostage. Since then, the two parties have been able to negotiate the release of about 100 prisoners held in Gaza in exchange for the release of 240 Palestinians in West Jerusalem, with an agreement on a ceasefire for a week. The truce collapsed as both sides exchanged accusations of violating the agreement.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that his country will continue its military operation against Hamas until the group is completely defeated “demilitarized” And its inhabitants “Extremism has been eliminated.”

The conflict between Hamas and Israel has so far claimed the lives of nearly 22,000 Palestinians and more than 1,100 Israelis.

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