Netanyahu demands prisoner exchange deal “similar to previous agreement”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Hamas's “unacceptable demands” regarding the release of Israeli detainees in the Gaza Strip, amid disagreements among members of his government over a potential agreement and reports of US pressure to reach a long-term ceasefire. Are.

“We have already recovered 110 of our kidnappers and are continuing to work on this issue, but Hamas has demands that we accept,” Israeli media quoted Netanyahu as saying during a meeting of his Likud party on Monday. will not do.”

He said the terms should be similar to the previous agreement, stressing that the deal would not be concluded “at any cost”.

Netanyahu said he would not end the war on Gaza without eliminating Hamas leaders and that it would take months, not years.

In other statements during an inspection of an armored forces base in the Latrun area, west of Jerusalem, the Israeli prime minister said a “complete victory” would open the door to further securing historic peace agreements.

With Qatari-Egyptian-American mediation, Hamas and Israel reached a temporary ceasefire last November 24 that lasted a week, during which prisoners were exchanged and limited humanitarian aid was brought into Gaza.

Efforts to reach a new agreement were resumed late last month, as meetings were held in Paris, resulting in proposals for a ceasefire and prisoner swaps, which were handed over to the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) for study. Went.

American pressure on Netanyahu

Israeli Channel 13 said the administration of US President Joe Biden is pressuring Netanyahu to agree to a ceasefire for at least 4 months.

This comes as the Israeli Broadcasting Corporation said four ministers from the Likud party attacked the outlook for the exchange deal during the weekly government session yesterday, Sunday.

The commission said other ministers said Netanyahu's office was behind the ministers' public attacks and statements against the deal.

The commission said these positions may have been part of Netanyahu's negotiating strategy, aimed at convincing parties opposed to the agreement to side with the Israeli side.

On the other hand, Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir called for an exchange of humanitarian aid to Gaza for the release of Israeli detainees.

Ben Gvir also – during a press conference in Jerusalem – spoke with the US administration about the existence of a problem in the practice of the mini-ministerial council in Israel, as he called it.

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