‘Opportune moment’ for hostage deal, but war will resume after ceasefire, says Defense Minister

“We have the utmost obligation to bring our hostages back home.”

By World Israel News Staff

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant confirmed Monday that talks between Israel and Hamas aimed at reaching a hostage deal have reached an “opportune” moment, backing claims by an Egyptian official that a deal could be imminent.

On Monday, an Egyptian official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Hebrew-language outlet Mako that Israel’s negotiating team in Cairo is expected to return “within two days to finalize” the terms for a hostage deal and temporary ceasefire.

Later on Monday, Gallant appeared to back up the claim, while addressing new army recruits of the IDF’s Armored and Combat Engineering Corps.

During his visit, Gallant reiterated the government’s commitment to return all 133 Israeli hostages held in Gaza, noting that there now appears to be an “opportune moment” to reach a deal with Hamas.

“We have the utmost obligation to bring our hostages back home,” the defense minister said.

“The operational conditions that the IDF created through relentless military pressure on Hamas allow us flexibility, freedom of action and also making difficult decisions to return the hostages.”

“We are at an opportune moment, but there’s another side that must agree to it.”

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The ceasefire will not be permanent, Gallant emphasized, despite Hamas demands that it mark a total and lasting cessation to the war, vowing instead to resume efforts to dismantle Hamas.

“Afterwards will return to the fighting, and do everything we must.”

Gallant touched on Israel’s recent withdrawal from Khan Yunis, one of two major cities in the southern Gaza Strip, saying the redeployment is part of the plan to enter Rafah, the last remaining Hama stronghold in Gaza.

“We withdrew forces, we are preparing and we will arrive in Rafah in order to crush the military forces there,” Gallant said, echoing similar comments he made on Sunday.