LONDON (AP) – Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has firmly dismissed Hamas’s proposed ceasefire terms, declaring the possibility of “total victory” in Gaza within a matter of months.
During a news conference on Wednesday, Netanyahu rejected negotiations with Hamas, labeling their terms as “bizarre” and asserting that “there is no other solution but a complete and final victory.”
The conflict between Israel and Hamas has been ongoing, with the latter presenting a counter-offer in response to an Israel-backed ceasefire proposal. However, Netanyahu’s categorical rebuke of Hamas’s terms indicates a clear unwillingness to accept any concessions from the group.
The rejection comes amid continuing talks to reach a potential agreement, with Egyptian and Qatari mediation expected to resume in Cairo on Thursday.
Hamas, on the other hand, considers Netanyahu’s remarks as “a form of political bravado,” showing his intention to continue the conflict in the region. An Egyptian official source remains optimistic about the possibility of reaching a calm agreement, urging all parties to show the necessary flexibility in negotiations.
Additionally, a draft of the Hamas document includes a proposed ceasefire deal, which outlines a series of phases aimed at ending the war and increasing deliveries of aid to Gaza. The ongoing conflict has led to scores of casualties, with thousands of Palestinians reportedly killed and injured by the war launched by Israel in response to Hamas attacks on southern Israel.
Notably, Netanyahu’s rejection of the Hamas ceasefire terms has dashed hopes for a quick resolution, particularly as the United States has been actively pushing for a deal. However, the fundamental mismatch between the US and Israel’s plans for Gaza’s future remains apparent, with differing visions for the entity’s governance and the inclusion of a Palestinian state.
The urgent question now is whether a compromise can be reached to continue negotiations, potentially achieving the much-needed humanitarian pause and allowing for more aid to enter the Gaza Strip.