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Netanyahu’s Position: the return of the hostages while achieving the objectives of the war

Photo Credit: Meir Elipur
The Prime Minister's Office provided 5 principles on which Israel will not compromise in negotiations for a deal. Netanyahu stressed: "Israel will maximize the number of live hostages that will be returned from Hamas captivity" this without harming the achievement of the combat goals.

The Prime Minister’s Office published yesterday (Sunday) Prime Minister Netanyahu’s announcement regarding the negotiations for the abductee deal, and in this announcement he listed five principles on which Israel will not compromise as part of the negotiations for a deal with Hamas.
“The prime minister’s firm stand against the attempt to stop the IDF operation in Rafah is what brought Hamas to enter into negotiations,” the bureau said.
Further to the announcement, the five principles already agreed upon by Israel were detailed:
1. Any deal will allow Israel to return and fight until all the goals of the war are achieved.
2. It will not be possible to smuggle weapons to Hamas from the Gaza border to Egypt.
3. The return of thousands of armed terrorists to the north of the Gaza Strip will not be possible.
4. Israel will maximize the number of live hostages that will be returned from Hamas captivity.
5. The outline that was agreed upon for Israel and received the blessing of President Biden will allow Israel to return abductees without harming the other goals of the war.
The deal that is currently on the agenda includes three stages, where at each stage Israel will be required to release hundreds of terrorists from prisons.
In the first stage – all the women, the sick and the adults who remained in Hamas captivity in Gaza are expected to be released. These are 33 living and dead abductees, according to the reports, who will be released over six weeks. In the second stage, which will be negotiated between the parties – the rest of the living abductees, mainly the young men and the soldiers, are expected to be released. This is the phase that underlies the dispute that has been going on until now, since Hamas conditions its existence on a permanent ceasefire, while Netanyahu is determined to achieve all the fighting goals that have not yet been achieved, that is, to continue fighting. In the third stage – the rest of the bodies are expected to be released.
The political and security system received the message shortly before assessing the situation that Netanyahu had with Defense Minister Galant and military personnel, without having agreed on the matter between them and they reacted with bewilderment. A security official commented on the matter and said that this is “improper conduct that will harm the chance of returning the abductees home. There is also a question of timing here. If you issue the announcement even before the hearing in the bureau has started – then why hold a hearing? If this is the conduct, the hostages will not return.”
In the meantime, the negotiations for the deal continue and next Wednesday the head of the Mossad Dadi Barnea is expected to meet in Doha, Qatar with the local prime minister, with the head of the CIA and with the head of Egyptian intelligence. In Egypt it was reported that the head of the CIA will arrive in Cairo this week, as will an “Israeli delegation” – which for now has not yet been officially confirmed in Israel.

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