The continuation of negotiations for the release of the Hostages – what does Hamas think?

Operation Defensive shield. IDF Spokesperson's Unit

On Tuesday, contacts between the Israeli team and the Hamas leadership were renewed, through the mediating countries, when this time the Israeli negotiating team received a “particularly broad” mandate from Prime Minister Netanyahu to offer far-reaching concessions (in relation to what has been proposed so far) in order to reach a deal with the terrorist organization.


Above the table, Hamas takes a negative and aggressive approach, claiming that it is impossible to advance in negotiations as long as Israel continues to maneuver in Rafah (a maneuver that has been deepening in recent days, and has reached the already rhe center of the southern city – thickening the IDF’s security apparatus to a total of 4 brigades within the 162nd Division). The two Israeli attacks that killed dozens of displaced civilians, on Saturday and yesterday, gave Hamas a tailwind in this demand in front of the international community. Israel is now on the defence on rhe consciousness arena to prove to the world that the first attack was fatal because of the presence of Hamas munitions in the area, and that the second attack, well, never happened.


But under the table, there are indications of certain understandings among the Hamas leadership. According to Western sources, Hamas understands that it will not control the Gaza Strip after the war, and therefore there is a possibility that it will be willing to discuss a exile of the leadership (similar to what Israel did in Beirut in 1982 against the PLO). The officials are trying to persuade Israel to put on the table a far-reaching ceasefire proposal that would include a ceasefire, the release of the hostages, the exile of the leadership and the rehabilitation of the Gaza Strip – in order to challenge Sinwar and force him to expose his cards and positions. However, it may be a trap for Israel, which will also later find it difficult to withdraw from the threshold set in this proposal. In any case, this dilemma is now at Netanyahu’s doorstep, and it remains to be seen how far the “mandate” field he defined for the negotiating team has come.

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