London, United Kingdom – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has firmly rejected Hamas’ proposed ceasefire terms, asserting that “total victory” in Gaza could be achieved within months. His comments came after Hamas outlined a set of demands in response to an Israel-backed ceasefire proposal. Netanyahu dismissed the possibility of negotiations with the group, labeling their terms as “bizarre” and suggesting that talks were not progressing.
The rejection by Israeli officials signals a resolute rebuff to Hamas’ efforts to end the conflict on its own terms. According to Netanyahu, “There is no other solution but a complete and final victory.” He expressed concerns that if Hamas were to survive in Gaza, it would only be a matter of time until the next massacre.
Meanwhile, senior Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri dismissed Netanyahu’s remarks as political bravado, accusing him of intending to perpetuate the conflict in the region. Despite the contentious response from Israel, a new round of negotiations, mediated by Egypt and Qatar, is still expected to take place in Cairo on Thursday.
Hamas’ counter-offer to the ceasefire proposal entails a phased approach, including the exchange of hostages and prisoners, increased aid deliveries to Gaza, and the eventual conclusion of negotiations to end the war. The proposed deal also aims to address humanitarian concerns and the rebuilding of essential infrastructure in Gaza.
However, Mr. Netanyahu’s rejection of the ceasefire terms aligns with Israel’s vision for Gaza’s future, which includes maintaining overall security control and establishing local governance separate from Hamas. In contrast, Washington’s perspective envisions a Palestinian state in the region, highlighting the fundamental discord between the US and Israel’s plans for Gaza.
The urgent question now is whether these talks can continue to make progress towards another exchange of hostages and prisoners, as well as a much-needed humanitarian pause to facilitate the entry of aid into the Gaza Strip. The escalating conflict and divergent visions for the region’s future underscore the complexity of reaching a lasting ceasefire agreement.
As the international community continues to weigh in on the crisis, concerns persist about the humanitarian impact and the potential for further escalation of violence. With conflicting visions and uncompromising stances on both sides, the path to a sustainable resolution remains uncertain.