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Netanyahu says Hamas’ response to mediators’ proposals ‘negative’

April 14, 2024 at 3:00 pm

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu [ABIR SULTAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images]

The Israeli Prime Minister’s Office said on Sunday that Hamas responded “negatively” to the outlines provided to it by the mediators regarding a cease-fire proposal with Israel which it received Monday, Anadolu reports.

“It has been over a week since the Cairo meeting – Hamas has rejected the outline that was tabled by the mediators,” Netanyahu’s office said in a statement.

“The rejection of the proposal by the three mediators, which included the most significant flexibility on Israel’s part, proves that (Palestinian politician Yahya) Sinwar does not want a humanitarian deal and the return of the hostages,” the statement said.

There was no immediate comment from Hamas on Netanyahu’s office statement, however, it confirmed on Saturday its readiness to “conclude a serious and real hostage exchange deal between the two parties.”

READ: Hamas considers Iran’s response to Israel ‘natural right’

The statement from the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office came at a time when protests are escalating in Israel demanding a hostage exchange agreement and a cease-fire in Gaza.

Israel has killed nearly 33,700 Palestinians since an Oct. 7, 2023 cross-border attack by Hamas in which some 1,200 Israelis were killed and around 250 hostages taken.

A previous deal in November saw the release of 81 Israelis and 24 foreigners in exchange for 240 Palestinians, including 71 women and 169 children.

The US, Qatar and Egypt have tried to broker an agreement to release the remaining Israeli captives.

The conflict has pushed 85% of Gaza’s population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water, and medicine, while 60% of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed.

Global calls for a cease-fire have been growing as the war has entered its seventh month.

READ: 5 killed as Israeli army shells hundreds of displaced Palestinians returning to northern Gaza