Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu Rejects Ceasefire Deal with Hamas, Seeks "Total Victory"
| IOP Desk - 08 Feb 2024

IOP News Desk

Tel Aviv, February 8, 2024- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has firmly rejected a ceasefire proposal from Hamas fighters, asserting that "total victory" in Gaza is attainable within months. The ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas in Gaza, which has persisted for nearly four months, has claimed the lives of nearly 30,000 Palestinians.

Netanyahu Dismisses Ceasefire Offer: Prime Minister Netanyahu denounced Hamas's ceasefire proposition, labeling it as "delusional." He emphasized that Israel has not committed to any of Hamas's demands, particularly those related to the release of individuals with violent histories. Netanyahu asserted that negotiation is imperative but lamented the lack of progress in talks with Hamas.

Quest for Complete Victory: Netanyahu reiterated Israel's objective of achieving "complete victory" in Gaza, stressing that the timeline for victory is a matter of months, not years or decades. He maintained that Israel remains steadfast in its pursuit of this goal and will not settle for anything less.

Blow to US Secretary of State: Netanyahu's refusal to entertain the ceasefire deal delivered a blow to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who is currently in the region attempting to facilitate an end to the violence. Despite this setback, Netanyahu did not rule out the possibility of further negotiations.

Hamas Response and Diplomatic Efforts: In response to Netanyahu's stance, Hamas announced plans to send a delegation to Cairo to pursue discussions on hostage release and truce arrangements. Meanwhile, Secretary Blinken engaged in talks with Israeli officials, pressing for a "humanitarian pause" amidst mounting international and domestic pressure to resolve the conflict.

Hamas Proposal and Blinken's Diplomacy: Hamas presented a detailed response outlining a three-phase plan, including the withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza, humanitarian aid initiatives, and enhanced freedom of movement for Gaza residents. Blinken emphasized the need for Israel to make challenging decisions and move towards a two-state solution to garner support from regional allies and achieve normalization.

As tensions persist and diplomatic efforts intensify, the conflict between Israel and Hamas remains at a critical juncture. Netanyahu's rejection of the ceasefire deal underscores the complexities of the situation, while international stakeholders continue to advocate for a peaceful resolution to the longstanding conflict in Gaza.

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