Israel: war cabinet split on Hamas demand to stop the war – Middle East Monitor

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There is a split in Israel’s War Cabinet on the demand from Hamas for the occupation state to stop its war against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli Public Broadcasting Authority Kan 11 has reported. According to the broadcaster, there are ministers in the cabinet who believe that this is a negotiable matter, but it noted that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and those close to him insist that this would be a “surrender” to the resistance movement.

“This is our last chance to return the hostages in Gaza and reach an agreement,” an Israeli official participating in negotiations was quoted as saying. “We along with the mediators understand this. If an agreement is not reached, the Israeli army will enter Rafah, and the hostages will not be released. They will die and the matter may escalate.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Israel submitted its proposal for a prisoner exchange deal with Hamas to the Egyptian and Qatari mediators, said Kan 11. It also indicated an expansion of the Israeli army’s attack on Rafah, in which four army brigades are now involved.

The official channel quoted unnamed foreign sources as saying that this expansion creates obstacles for the talks, amid predictions that negotiations will resume next week in the Qatar capital, Doha.

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A minister in the War Cabinet and former chief of staff of the Israeli army, Gadi Eisenkot, warned on Monday that Hamas is renewing its strength. Fighting it will continue for many years, he said, so reaching a prisoner deal is a strategic necessity.

While Eisenkot said that it is necessary “to reach the end of fighting in Rafah and at the same time move forward along the path of a hostage deal, in which we will cease fire for 42 days or double that,” he added that there is no “trade-off between releasing prisoners in exchange for ending the war.”

OPINION: Israel has killed displaced Palestinians since 1948, not just since 7 October

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