Netanyahu: Qatar has turned on Hamas over its ‘unacceptable’ demands

Israeli premier blasts claims he has torpedoed hostage deal, says the ball is in Hamas’ court.

By World Israel News Staff

Qatar, the patron and key financier of the Hamas terror organization, is beginning to pressure Hamas leaders to make a deal with Israel to release hostages in exchange for a ceasefire, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday.

Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, met at IDF headquarters in Tel Aviv Thursday with representatives of the families of the hostages in Gaza.

Prime Minister Netanyahu told the families at the start of the meeting that Hamas has thus far continued to reject proposals for a hostage deal, adding that it appears that Qatar, Hamas’ primary financial backer, has begun to lose patience with the terror group.

“We are committed to returning everyone,” Netanyahu said. “Even if we go to a multi-stage campaign, this includes everyone, both the casualties and the hostages.”

“I would be happy if I could be the bearer of good news for you today. As of this moment, there has been no real response from Hamas. They are still clinging to unacceptable demands.”

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“They do not want to make progress. They want to ignite the ground during Ramadan. This is their attempt; this is their goal. As a result of our pressure, the Government’s, and also with your help, we are seeing – for the first time – Qatari pressure on Hamas.”

“I aspire to this and have been pushing for this for some time. I think that every trip and appearance of yours overseas, at the UN, in Washington, and in other capitals, has an effect. The Qatari pressure is beginning to work. Qatar has started to tell them: ‘We will throw you out.’ ‘We will deny you funds.’ This is what is being said; we have verified this. This is a change; it is something positive.”

“If anyone tells you that I do not want a deal, and that we are trying not to make one – this is nonsense. At the moment there is a change in the Qatari pressure. This is the most positive thing I can say.”

Netanyahu was joined in the meeting by his Chief-of-Staff, Tzachi Braverman, the Prime Minister’s Military Secretary, Maj.-Gen. Avi Gil, Coordinator for the Hostages and the Missing Brig.-Gen. (Res.) Gal Hirsch, Hostages Authority Director Yaron Cohen and Varda Pomerantz from the Hostages Committee.

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