Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected a proposal by Hamas to end the war and release captives in exchange for withdrawing Israeli forces, releasing prisoners and accepting the armed group’s governance of Gaza.
Netanyahu, who is under growing domestic pressure to bring the captives home, said that accepting Hamas’s conditions would mean leaving the armed group “intact” and that Israel’s soldiers had “fallen in vain”.
“If we accept this, we won’t be able to guarantee the safety of our citizens. We will not be able to bring evacuees home safely and the next October 7 will only be a matter of time,” the Israeli leader added.
Netanyahu had earlier repeated his opposition to an independent Palestinian state, insisting he would not comprise on full Israeli security control over the entire area in the west of Jordan.
“If the prime minister decides to sacrifice the hostages, he should show leadership and honestly share his position with the Israeli public,” the group said in a statement.