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Israel to discuss Hamas response to ceasefire proposal

February 7, 2024 at 12:20 pm

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (2-L) heads the weekly cabinet meeting at the Defence Ministry in Tel Aviv on January 7, 2024 [Ronen Zvulun via Getty Images]

Israel will today assess Hamas’s response to the proposed prisoner exchange deal and ceasefire, according to Israeli media. Senior Israeli political officials are meeting to discuss the response with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, reported Israeli Channel 13, without providing further details.

“We cannot accept the demand to end the war,” Israeli news website YNET quoted unnamed Israeli officials as saying. Israel also apparently opposes releasing 1,500 Palestinian prisoners, including those serving life sentences, according to the website.

For his part, Netanyahu has given the green light for a ceasefire in Gaza, according to Israel’s public broadcaster. Netanyahu accepted the ceasefire after a Qatari request, without prior notification to the War Cabinet of his decision, it added. The prime minister agreed to the request made during talks with Mossad Chief David Barnea at the Intelligence Chiefs Summit in Paris last month.

Earlier on Tuesday, Hamas said it had delivered its response to Egypt and Qatar regarding the “framework agreement” for a proposed prisoner swap deal and ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. Qatar’s Prime Minister, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Bin Jassim Al Thani, confirmed that the response had been received. “The Hamas response contains notes but is generally positive,” he added.

Hamas is believed to be holding around 136 Israelis hostage in Gaza following its 7 October armed incursion in Israel. The apartheid state has since been engaged in a genocidal offensive in Gaza, which has killed at least 27,585 Palestinians and wounded 66,978 others. Although nearly 1,200 Israelis were said to have been killed in the Hamas attack, it has since been revealed that a number were killed by the Israel Defence Forces.

Read the detailed Hamas response to the proposed ceasefire deal