Top NewsIsrael-Hamas war: Netanyahu's latest comments test US-backed cease-fire proposal

Israel-Hamas war: Netanyahu’s latest comments test US-backed cease-fire proposal

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TEL AVIV, Israel (AP) — The possibility of a U.S.-backed proposal 8 months of war in Gaza The comments sparked an uproar from families of hostages taken by Hamas after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he was only willing to agree to a “partial” ceasefire deal that would not end the war.

In an interview broadcast late Sunday on Israel’s Channel 14, a conservative, pro-Netanyahu station, the Israeli leader “said he was ready to make a partial deal — it’s no secret — that would return some people to us.” 120 more hostages in the Gaza Strip. “But we are committed to continuing the war after a pause to complete the goal of eliminating Hamas. I’m not ready to give it up.”

Netanyahu’s comments did not depart dramatically from what he had previously said about his terms for the deal. They come at a critical time, as Israel and Hamas appear to be drifting further apart in the latest cease-fire plan, and could represent another setback for mediators trying to end the war.

Netanyahu’s views were quite the opposite DEFINITIONS OF CONTRACT U.S. President Joe Biden described the plan late last month as an Israeli plan and some in Israel refer to it as “Netanyahu’s deal.” His comments can Further straining Israel’s relations with the United StatesIts top ally, it launched a major diplomatic push for a recent ceasefire proposal.

A three-phase plan would release the remaining hostages in exchange for hundreds of Palestinians imprisoned by Israel. But still Disputes and mistrust persist About how the deal between Israel and Hamas is going.

Hamas has insisted it will not release the remaining hostages until there is a permanent ceasefire and the complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza. When Biden announced the latest plan, he said it included both.

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But Netanyahu says Israel is still determined to destroy Hamas’ military and governing capabilities, and will never again carry out an October 7-style attack. A full withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza would leave the group in control of the area and rearmed, with Hamas’ top leadership and many of its forces still intact.

Netanyahu said in the interview The current phase of the fight is coming to an endIsrael sets stage to send more troops to its northern border to counter Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, what a new battle front can open. But he said that does not mean the war in Gaza is over.

On Monday, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant discussed tensions along the Lebanese border with Amos Hochstein, a senior adviser to Biden, during his trip to Washington. He echoed Netanyahu’s views that the war in Gaza was entering a new phase, which could affect other conflicts with Hezbollah.

Israel is close to eliminating Hamas military units in the southern city of Rafah and maintaining “full control” of the Philadelphia Corridor, a strategic buffer zone on Gaza’s border with Egypt, Israel’s army chief, Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, said. Israel says the corridor is riddled with tunnels used by Hamas to smuggle weapons and other supplies. Israel’s control of the buffer zone would put an end to that, Halevi said.

During the initial six-week phase of the proposed ceasefire, the two sides would have to negotiate a second phase agreement, which would include the release of all remaining hostages, including male soldiers, and Israel’s complete withdrawal from Gaza, Biden said. Temporary ceasefire becomes permanent.

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Hamas worries that Israel will resume the war once the most vulnerable hostages are returned. Even if it doesn’t, Israel can make demands during the negotiation phase that weren’t part of the initial deal and are unacceptable to Hamas — and then restart the war when Hamas refuses them.

Netanyahu’s comments reinforced that concern. After they were aired, Hamas said it “unequivocally confirms his rejection” of the US-backed deal. Supported by the United Nations Security Council.

In a statement late Sunday after Netanyahu’s lengthy television interview, a Palestinian militant group said his position was “contrary” to what the US administration said it recognized Israel. Its insistence that any deal include a permanent cease-fire and the withdrawal of all Israeli forces from the Gaza Strip “is an imperative to stop Netanyahu’s evasion, deception and efforts to perpetuate a war of aggression and destruction. Our people.”

Netanyahu was shot dead and a statement from his office said Hamas opposed the deal. He said Israel would not withdraw from Gaza until all 120 hostages were returned.

Hamas welcomed the broad explanation of the US plan but proposed what it called “amendments”. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, during a visit to the region earlier this month, said some of Hamas’ demands were “actionable” and others were not, without elaborating.

Both Netanyahu and Hamas exist An incentive to continue a destructive war Despite the devastating toll it has taken on civilians in Gaza, there is growing anger in Israel that the hostages have not been returned and Hamas has not been defeated.

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The families of the hostages have grown impatient with Netanyahu, seeing his reluctance to move forward with a deal tainted by political considerations. A group representing the families condemned Netanyahu’s comments, which they considered Israel’s rejection of a recent cease-fire proposal.

“This is the abandonment of 120 hostages and a violation of the state’s moral obligation to its citizens,” it said, noting that Netanyahu was responsible for the return of all those held captive.

Earlier on Sunday, Netanyahu repeated his comments statement A “dramatic drop” in arms exports from the United States hampered the war effort. US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said on Monday that he did not understand Netanyahu’s comments and that Biden had. Delayed heavy bombardment on only one ship over concerns of massive civilian casualties.

“Because we are committed to Israel’s security, there are other weapons that we continue to supply to Israel as we have going back many years,” Miller told reporters in Washington. “There is no change in that.”

In its October 7 cross-border attack, Hamas-led militants killed 1,200 people and captured 250, including women, children and the elderly. Dozens were freed in a temporary ceasefire deal in late November and of the 120 remaining hostages, Israel says a third are dead.

More than 37,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israel’s war of revenge, according to the Ministry of Health in the Hamas-ruled territory. This is A Humanitarian crisis And most of the territory’s 2.3 million population were displaced.

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Magdy reported from Cairo.

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Follow AP’s coverage of the Gaza war https://apnews.com/hub/israel-hamas-war

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