• April 14, 2024 4:44 am

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Israeli delegation leaves Qatar negotiations after Hamas rejects latest hostage release proposal

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Mar 26, 2024

An Israeli delegation departed negotiation talks in Doha, Qatar, on Tuesday after Hamas yet again rejected terms for a hostage release deal.

While Israel says some of its delegates remain in Doha, the majority of its officials have left the negotiations. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office condemned Hamas in a Tuesday statement, saying the terrorist organization was making unrealistic demands.

“Hamas’s position clearly proves that Hamas is not interested in continuing negotiations for a deal and is an unfortunate testimony to the damage of the Security Council’s decision,” Netanyahu’s office said.

“Hamas once again rejected any American compromise proposal and reiterated its extreme demands: an immediate end to the war, a complete withdrawal of the IDF from the Gaza Strip, and remaining in power so that it could repeat the massacre of October 7 again and again, as it had promised to do,” the statement continued.

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“Israel will not submit to the delusional demands of Hamas. It will continue to act to achieve all the goals of the war: to release all the abductees, to destroy the military and governmental capabilities of Hamas, and to ensure that Gaza will no longer pose a threat to Israel,” it added.

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The development comes as Israel appears poised to launch an invasion of Rafah, a Gaza city bordering Egypt that serves both as a refugee camp and Hamas’ final foothold in the region.

The plans have been a point of major friction between Netanyahu and President Biden’s administration, which has repeatedly warned that an invasion would be a “huge mistake.”

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The Biden administration chose not to block a U.N. resolution calling for a cease-fire in Gaza on Monday. That led Netanyahu to also cancel an Israeli delegation’s trip to Washington. The visit was intended to determine whether a compromise could be reached regarding Rafah.

Netanyahu has vowed that the offensive will take place with or without U.S. support, arguing it is necessary for the goal of fully dismantling Hamas.

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