Israel has been trying to cut a deal with Hamas, offering a respite of one week from the military assault in exchange for 40 or so hostages. Israel’s efforts both address a real internal political problem for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but also serve as a public relations matter, suggesting that they are not only warmongers. Hamas, meanwhile, has insisted first on a stoppage of the carnage and then an “all for all” deal—all the Israeli hostages for all the Palestinian prisoners. Apparently, they have no interest in the previous format, buying a few days of respite before the carnage resumes.
The Wall Street Journal reports from its sources that the discussions ended last night, when Hamas made clear to Israel that they would not take their deal. (Not reported is the obvious, that Israel evidently paid no attention to Hamas’s deal.) Netanyahu immediately responded, recording a video last night, which was posted today on X and published in a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office.
“We are continuing the war to the end. It will continue until Hamas is eliminated—until victory.
“Whoever thinks that we will stop is detached from reality. We will not stop the fighting until all of the goals that we have set are achieved: The elimination of Hamas, the release of our hostages and the removal of the threat from Gaza.
“We are attacking Hamas with fierce fire, everywhere, including today. We are also attacking their accomplices near and far.
“All Hamas terrorists, from the first to the last, are dead men walking. They have only two possibilities: Surrender or die.”