Deal Breaker: Hamas refuses to provide list of hostages still alive

Hamas also threatens attacks in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria during Ramadan if talks don’t go its way.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

Hamas representatives landed in Cairo Sunday for hostage negotiations demanding huge Israeli concessions just to provide a list of the live abductees it is holding, rejecting Jerusalem’s insistence that it receive the names before it agrees to more talks.

The London-based but Qatari-owned Al-Araby Al-Jadeed cited an unnamed senior Hamas official as saying, “No details or information regarding the abductees will be given without a great price to be paid.”

This would include “a significant easing of the suffering of Gazan residents,” meaning greatly increased humanitarian aid, “and the application of a comprehensive ceasefire,” he said.

The official continued talking tough, saying that “Hamas will not make any concession that the American and Israeli administrations seek to force upon it in the negotiation process.”

One of the Israeli conditions specifically rejected by a different Hamas official speaking to Hezbollah mouthpiece Al-Mayadeen was its insistence that the IDF must stay in the field during a ceasefire.

Another no-no for the terrorists was Israel’s proposed limitation of any Gazans returning to the northern part of the Strip to those who are not of an age that could include them in Hamas ranks, the Lebanese outlet reported.

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This Hamas official said that the Cairo talks would be the “last chance to reach an agreement before” the Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins March 10.

He threatened that if Israel did not agree to Hamas’ proposals, there would be “an escalation” of terror “in the West Bank and Jerusalem.”

In that vein, Hamas chairman Ismail Haniyeh, who lives in Doha, Qatar, called Wednesday for Palestinian Arabs to “barricade themselves” inside the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount during Ramadan.  The holiday of Ramadan has often been the precursor to large-scale riots at the holy site.

In recent years, Palestinians have turned Ramadan into a period of greatly increased violence against Israelis, especially in these areas.

Jerusalem had told both the Egyptians and Qataris on Friday that it would not resume negotiations without an updated list of hostages.

The Israelis also demanded to know ahead of time how many imprisoned terrorists Hamas expects to be released for each hostage, seemingly because “delusional” demands would be rejected forthwith.

The government squashed rumors Sunday morning that Israeli representatives were on their way to the Egyptian capital.

There have also been other signs that the two sides were still far apart.  Sky News Arabia reported a Hamas official as saying that any deal for a temporary pause in the Israel-Hamas fighting in Gaza had to include a process that would definitely lead to a complete end to the war.

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Citing Egyptian sources, Reuters reported Sunday that Hamas has been given guarantees that the terms of the permanent ceasefire it demands will be agreed upon after the first phase of an agreement in which some 40 hostages would be released during a six-week truce.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly stated that the only way for the war to end was with a complete Hamas defeat and the return of all the hostages.

He has also insisted that Israel must keep a permanent military presence in the coastal enclave to ensure that the country is never attacked again as Hamas did on October 7, massacring 1,200 people in the most brutal of ways.

Hamas has said Israel would have to permanently withdraw all its troops from the Gaza Strip at the war’s end.