Hamas, Hezbollah at loggerheads as Lebanon-based terror group leaks hostage deal demands

The leaked document outlining Hamas’ demands forced the Qatari and Iranian foreign ministers to convene an emergency meeting. 

By Meir Dolev, World Israel News

Iranian-backed terror group Hezbollah prematurely released Hamas’s demands for a proposed hostage deal against Hamas’ wishes, a senior Arab affairs journalist said on Wednesday.

A day earlier, Reuters published details of a 135-page document outlining a ceasefire plan comprising of a four-and-a-half-month truce during which hostages would be freed in three stages and ending with the cessation of the war in its entirety.

“Hamas did not want to release this document. It was published by Hezbollah,” veteran journalist from Israel’s Channel 12, Ehud Yaari, said. He added that the Qatari foreign minister subsequently held an emergency meeting with his Iranian counterpart to iron out the fallout. ”

“Hamas did not plan for things to be published like this,” he said, adding that Hamas was “surprised.”

“As far as Hamas is concerned, this should not have been published. This is the beginning of a difficult debate that can take time. It’s not that they submitted a document, and it is final. They will have to continue bargaining, and it will be a difficult bargaining,” he added.

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According to Yaari, Hamas chief in Gaza Yahya Sinwar aimed to “stop the war at any cost” while other Hamas leaders in Qatar were formulating a deal without that stipulation. Yaari added that the final decision would be Sinwar’s.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reacted to Hamas’ terms for a hostage release deal, saying they were “delusional” and that “anyone would refuse them.”

Hamas said it would release Israeli prisoners only in exchange for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners and a four and a half month ceasefire requiring a total withdrawal of Israeli troops and ultimately a permanent ceasefire, ending the war.

Netanyahu said Israel would agree to nothing less than a “total victory” over Hamas which he said could be achieved “within months.”

“We won’t settle for less,” he added.

“Surrendering to Hamas’s delusional demands . . . if Hamas survives in Gaza, it will not only not lead to the release of the hostages, but will invite another massacre,” he said.

“The evil axis of Iran and its affiliates will continue unhindered in its campaign of killing and aggression,” Netanyahu explained.

Among its demands to release terrorists in Israeli prisons, Hamas has also asked for increased humanitarian aid, requesting the entry of tens of thousands of trucks into the Strip. The terror group also called for immediate infrastructure repairs and a plan for rehabilitating homes, businesses, and public utilities, alongside ensuring fresh fuel supplies and commitments for electricity and water delivery.

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In addition, the terror group is also demanding an end to Jews visiting the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Judaism’s holiest site.