Skip to content

Impasse in Truce/Hostage Talks Between Hamas and Israel

This evening, local time, Israel’s War Cabinet was convened to meet on the hostage/truce deal, as that was communicated from Hamas earlier today. The Times of Israel (TOI) reports that from “an Israeli official … that the assumption among the country’s leadership is that Hamas will officially reject the latest offer,” which apparently means the offer as of yesterday, one which reportedly Hamas had already altered.

Regardless, TOI reports that the war cabinet discussion revolved around “a potential start to the long-promised military operation in Rafah, even amid international pressure on Israel to avoid an incursion” into Rafah, and a Hamas official’s warning that an assault on the city would collapse talks for a deal.”

The Wall Street Journal, citing Arab negotiators, reported that Hamas chief in Gaza Yahya Sinwar “is expected to reject any deal that doesn’t include a credible path to ending the war.” He “believes that he has already won the war, whether he survives it or doesn’t, by opening the world’s eyes to the suffering of Palestinians and bringing the conflict to the forefront of global affairs.”

Israel’s Channel 12 news cited unnamed Hamas sources on Sinwar’s three demands: a guaranteed end to the war, including “a written obligation for an unconditional end to the fighting”; no veto power for Israel over which Palestinian prisoners are to be released; and specifics regarding what materials Israel won’t allow into Gaza during the reconstruction period.

U.S. State Department spokesman Matthew Miller repeated Secretary of State Tony Blinken’s position of yesterday, that Hamas is to blame if there is no settlement. Miller stated today: “There is a proposal on the table that answers much of the demands that Hamas made in previous rounds of negotiations. Israel made a significant offer in this last proposal that went forward [in which] they compromised on many long-held positions that they had taken. It met many of the demands that Hamas had said they needed to agree to a deal, so we believe it’s now incumbent upon them to take the deal. Hamas is the only barrier to a ceasefire right now… and we were waiting for their response.”