NEWS: Hamas appears to pull out of hostage deal that could have ended war in Gaza within months: report
Hamas on Monday appeared to nix a deal that would have freed the Israeli hostages in return for a four-month cease-fire designed to buy time to come up with a plan to end the war, a new report said.
Senior officials from the Palestinian terror group seemed to spike the peace proposal that was negotiated in Paris over the weekend by saying they want a “complete and comprehensive cease-fire” before anything else is agreed upon, according to the Times of Israel.
That stance came just a day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office described the latest talks between international mediators and the terrorists as having been “constructive.”
Representatives from the US — including CIA director William J. Burns — Israel, and Egypt met over the weekend with the prime minister of Qatar to discuss their latest peace proposal, which called for a fourth-month cease-fire, the Wall Street Journal said.
During the first six weeks of the cease-fire, women and children hostages along with the elderly would have been freed from Hamas in return for Israel releasing Palestinian prisoners and allowing aid into Gaza, according to the Journal.
Female members of the Israel Defense Forces held by Hamas would then have been released, followed by male soldiers, then finally human remains.
The deal included guarantees for Hamas that the US and other international leaders would hammer out a deal during the four months to end the war, the Journal reported.
In the weeks since Hamas killed 1,200 people and took 240 hostage in its October 7 attack on Israel, leaders in the Jewish state have vowed not to stop until the terror group was completely eradicated.
Israeli officials told the Journal that the nation was both “fully committed to the release of all hostages and to destroying Hamas” and would “continue to do whatever possible to ensure the release of all hostages.”
The current plan was only the latest in a round of cease-fire and peace pitches proposed since the conflict started.
Just last week, talks over a one-month cease-fire in return for the exchange of hostages and prisoners fell apart after Hamas refused to move forward with negotiations unless Israeli forces first withdrew entirely from Gaza, where the Hamas-run Health Ministry says over 25,000 people have been killed.
Days before that, Hamas said, “There is no chance for the return of the captives” after both sides met another impasse.
A cease-fire was successfully secured for a week back in November, which resulted in the release of more than 100 Israeli hostages and 240 Palestinian prisoners before hostilities resumed.