Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed Hamas’ recent conditions for a ceasefire deal, calling the offer delusional and saying that the agreement would lead to more mass violent attacks, such as on October 7th. Instead, the PM vowed to push forward with Israel’s invasion of Gaza until “total victory,” adding that this was achievable within months.
Hamas’ offer for a ceasefire is proposed to last four and a half months and includes three phases that would entail the release of all hostages (estimated to be around 130) their fighters took during their incursion into Israel in October, the simultaneous release of 1,500 Palestinian prisoners from Israel, and the full withdrawal of Israeli military forces from the Gaza Strip. Netanyahu has said, on the other hand, that he believes only military action will ensure the release of the rest of the hostages from Hamas.
This came after the U.S., Egypt, Qatar, and Israel laid down the framework for a six-week ceasefire hostage release plan in Paris late in January. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken responded to Netanyahu’s comments after meeting with him, saying both that Hamas’ offer wasn’t fully achievable but that there is still space to pursue negotiations to get an agreement. Blinken met with leaders of Qatar and Egypt on Tuesday as well, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday.