Israel has decided to reject most of Hamas’ demands for a new hostage release deal, Channel 12 News reported on Friday.
According to the report, the War Cabinet agreed that Hamas' demands are ridiculous and unrealistic, and therefore there is no point in attending talks in Egypt until those demands are watered down.
The Israeli reply included several principles, the report noted. They are:
Returning to the framework of the understandings from the Paris plan, and excluding from the document all the demands of Hamas that are not related to the issue of the war, such as the Temple Mount and the imprisonment conditions of the terrorists in Israeli prisons.
An Israeli insistence on "humanitarian releases" of hostages in the first stages.
Delaying the release of so-called “heavy prisoners” in the next stages of the deal in exchange for the return of the soldiers and members of rapid-response squads.
The Channel 12 News report also said that in the last part of the discussion, an argument broke out within the War Cabinet, when Gadi Eisenkot and Benny Gantz wanted to send the official position in writing to the mediators in Qatar and Egypt, while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the official position must go through the expanded cabinet before it is delivered in writing.
On Tuesday, Hamas finally provided the Qatari government with its response to the proposed deal after days of dragging its feet.
As a precondition for any arrangement, Hamas demands a complete halt to Israeli military activity in Gaza, including its airspace.
The hostages to be freed in the first stage would be women, children, the sick, and the elderly, in exchange for the release of all Palestinian Arab women, children, and men aged 50 and above currently held by Israel.
This is in addition to approximately 1,500 other Palestinian Arab prisoners held by Israel, including 500 convicted of murder who are serving life or lengthy sentences.
Despite all the conditions that Hamas set for a deal, a senior Biden administration official told NBC News that the response provided by the terrorist organization was “generally positive.”
(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)