As IDF prepares to invade Rafah, Netanyahu agrees to restart negotiations with Hamas

“We’re preparing for [an invasion of] Rafah, and I am handling the negotiations myself,” Netanyahu reportedly told the families of hostages.

By World Israel News Staff

Israel and the Hamas terror group are planning to enter a fresh round of ceasefire and hostage release negotiations in Cairo, despite recent talks in Qatar ending in a deadlock.

According to Hebrew-language media reports, Israel was prepared to release 700-800 terrorists, including those convicted of the mass murders of Israelis, in order to secure the return of some 40 hostages currently held captive in the Gaza Strip.

Hamas rejected that proposal, instead calling for a total withdrawal of Israeli troops from the coastal enclave and a permanent end to the war – two demands that Israel has repeatedly stated are non-starters.

Although an Israeli team of negotiators returned to the Jewish State last week after just a few days in Qatar, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has given permission for indirect talks to continue in Egypt.

Egypt’s Al Qahera News reported on Saturday evening that Cairo was preparing to broker an additional round of indirect talks between Israel and Hamas, citing an unnamed security source.

A senior Israeli official told Reuters that Israel was readying to send its delegation on Sunday. However, a Hamas member told the outlet that it would wait to send a delegation until receiving an update from the Egyptian interlocuters about Israeli demands.

Israel has confirmed that out of the 130 hostages still held in the Strip, about one-third of them are deceased. Some were killed in captivity, while others were murdered on October 7th and their bodies were taken by Hamas and other terror groups.

Some family members of hostages met with Netanyahu on Thursday. During the meeting, he reportedly told them that “we’re preparing for [an invasion of] Rafah, and I am handling the negotiations myself.”