Israel-Gaza war, live | Netanyahu says he’s willing to make a “partial settlement” with Hamas but “not stop the war” | International

Netanyahu says he is willing to make a “partial compromise” with Hamas, but “not to prevent war”

Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, assured in an interview late Sunday that he was “ready for a partial agreement” with Hamas for the return of some of the hostages kidnapped in Gaza, but stressed that he would not do so until the war ends until the Islamist group is destroyed. Netanyahu made this statement in the same interview in which he assured that the intense fighting phase of the war in Gaza is close to coming to an end.

Asked if he was willing to reach a deal with Hamas after the current round of fierce fighting ended that would entail a commitment to end the war, Netanyahu replied: “No, I am not willing to end the war and leave Hamas behind. I am willing to make a partial deal, that’s no secret, that would bring back some of our people,” referring to those held hostage by Hamas since October 7. “We are obliged to continue fighting after a pause in order to achieve our goal of destroying Hamas,” the politician said in his first interview in Hebrew media since October 7, defending himself on the controversial program The Patriots on right-wing channel Channel 14.

The statement was immediately criticized as it appeared to reject the ceasefire agreement presented by US President Joe Biden on May 31, which Israel accepted and which considered a ceasefire in exchange for a hostage swap as the first step towards a permanent cessation of hostilities. Thus, shortly after its release, the Prime Minister’s Office sent a statement clarifying that “it is Hamas that opposes the agreement, not Israel.” The statement concluded, “The Prime Minister has made it clear that we will not leave Gaza until the return of the 120 hostages, alive and dead.” Of the 251 people kidnapped on October 7, 116 captives remain in the enclave, according to Israel at least 40 of them are dead – more than 70 according to Hamas.

In response, the Islamic organization assured that Netanyahu’s statements are “a clear confirmation of his rejection of the recent Security Council resolution and President Biden’s proposals.” Hamas stressed that any agreement must include “clear confirmation of a permanent ceasefire and the complete withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Gaza Strip”, “an indispensable requirement to prevent Netanyahu’s attempts to evade, deceive and perpetuate aggression”.

Biden’s proposal includes in its first phase a temporary ceasefire during which there would be a partial exchange of hostages (women, the elderly and the wounded) in exchange for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners. However, Hamas and Israel always clash over the same red line: the definitive ceasefire, an indispensable condition for the Islamists and something unacceptable for Netanyahu, whose war objectives include first of all the destruction of its military and governmental capabilities. (Agencies)


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