Hamas demand for permanent ceasefire in hostage deal a ‘non-starter’ for Israel

President Joe Biden remarked that he thought Hamas’s response was “over the top” but indicated negotiations were ongoing.

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

After nearly a week of waiting for a reply from Hamas leaders, the terror group responded with a doubling down of a previous statement that Hamas wouldn’t agree to release hostages without a permanent ceasefire and a full withdrawal of the IDF from the Gaza Strip, a non-starter for Israel.

In response to a hostage deal worked out in Paris by officials from US, Israel, Egypt and Qatar, Hamas said it wanted nothing less than a “comprehensive and complete ceasefire, and ending the aggression against our people, and guaranteeing relief, shelter, [and] reconstruction, [and] lifting the blockade of the Gaza Strip, and completing a prisoner exchange.”

Israel, according to one source, rejected Hamas’ demands outright.

“We will not accept any conditions for ending the war.”

Contrary to an apparent stalemate between Israel and Hamas, Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani said his country received a “positive response” from Hamas leaders about the deal.

Although Al Thani said he couldn’t provide further details, he added he was optimistic.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that he was reviewing Hamas’s response to the deal and would discuss details when he met with Israeli officials on Wednesday.

Blinken added that although there was “A lot of work to be done … We continue to believe that an agreement is possible, and indeed essential” for a “just and lasting peace in the Middle East.”

President Joe Biden remarked that he thought Hamas’s response was “over the top” but indicated negotiations were ongoing.

It was announced on Tuesday that at least 32 of the remaining 136 hostages in Gaza were confirmed dead, and the IDF spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said in the statement that the hostage families had been informed of the passing of their loved ones.

In addition, there are reports that an additional 20 hostages are feared dead.

Many of these are Israelis who were assumed to have been captives because they were missing since October 7th, but have been confirmed dead since.

However, others have been killed in captivity.