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Israeli PM Netanyahu Rejects Hamas’ Deal To End War, Release Captives

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On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu turned down Hamas’ demands for a cease-fire and hostage-relief that included Israel’s total exit from Gaza and Hamas’ continued rule over the territory.

Senior Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told Reuters that the Israeli leader’s unwillingness to halt the military onslaught in Gaza “means there is no chance for the return of the (Israeli) captives” as Israeli planes began striking Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip.

“In exchange for the release of our hostages, Hamas demands the end of the war, the withdrawal of our forces from Gaza, the release of all the murderers and rapists,” Netanyahu said in a statement. “And leaving Hamas intact.”

“I reject outright the terms of surrender of the monsters of Hamas,” Netanyahu said.

More than 100 of the approximately 240 hostages who were taken to Gaza after an attack by Hamas terrorists on October 7 were released under an agreement mediated in late November by the United States, Qatar, and Egypt in exchange for the release of 240 Palestinians detained in Israeli prisons.

Ever since, Netanyahu has been under increasing pressure to obtain the release of the other 136 captives.

Netanyahu must “clearly state that we will not abandon civilians, soldiers, and others kidnapped in the October debacle,” according to a statement from the Hostages and Missing Persons Families Forum.

It stated that “we must advance the deal now.” “If the prime minister decides to sacrifice the hostages, he should show leadership and honestly share his position with the Israeli public.”

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