Netanyahu Breaks Off Hostage Talks With Hamas

by | Mar 3, 2024

Netanyahu Breaks Off Hostage Talks With Hamas

by | Mar 3, 2024

hamas fighters

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Qatari and Egyptian officials that Israeli officials will not engage in another round of talks until Hamas provides a full list of living Israeli hostages in Gaza. This news is a blow to President Joe Biden, who predicted a deal would be done as soon as next week.

On Friday, Axios reported, “Israel made it clear to Egypt and Qatar that it will not hold another round of talks until Hamas presents a list of the hostages who are alive.” Israeli officials said, “There is no point in starting another round of talks until we receive the lists of which of the hostages are alive and until Hamas gives its answer regarding the ‘ratio’ that defines how many prisoners will be released for each hostage.”

The announcement is a setback for the White House, which has been working to ink a hostage deal that includes a pause in fighting and additional aid shipments for Gaza.  Last week, the US, Qatar, and Egypt rolled out a new hostage proposal, claiming progress was being made towards a deal.

The deal that’s on the table would involve Hamas releasing 40 Israeli hostages in exchange for a six-week ceasefire and the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners. The deal is likely a non-starter for Hamas as its top demand is reaching a permanent ceasefire.

Netanyahu has indicated Israel is unwilling to agree to a lasting end to the fighting. A week ago, he explained that any hostage deal with Hamas would only “delay” the Israeli military operations in Rafah.

Earlier this week, President Biden predicted that the deal would be accepted by both sides on Monday. Hamas and Israeli officials responded to the president’s remarks by saying he spoke too soon. On Thursday, he was forced to walk back that statement, saying “I was on the telephone with the people in the region.  I’m still — probably not by Monday, but I’m hopeful.”

As the Israeli onslaught in Gaza has killed tens of thousands of civilians and created a humanitarian crisis, Biden has faced mounting criticism for his unfettered support for Tel Aviv. The White House attempted to divert the attack by claiming that it is focused on reaching a hostage deal and temporary pause in fighting. The Biden administration has cited that as an excuse for refusing to issue condemnations of Israel or call for a ceasefire.

This article was originally featured at and is republished with permission.

About Kyle Anzalone

Kyle Anzalone is news editor of the Libertarian Institute, opinion editor of and co-host of Conflicts of Interest with Will Porter and Connor Freeman.

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