The Israeli Prime Minister: “I will not compromise”. Al-Qassam Brigades to the families of the kidnapped: “Your time is running out”
“Gaza must be demilitarized” and “to be placed under the full control of Israeli security” This was stated by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who spoke with US President Joe Biden on Friday. “I will not compromise on full control of Israeli security over the entire territory west of the Jordan River. “I have steadfastly maintained this position in the face of enormous international and national pressure.” “I greatly appreciate the United States’ support for Israel, and I have also expressed this to US President Joe Biden. However, I stand firm on our vital interests: ‘We must achieve total victory.’
The Israeli Prime Minister: “No to Hamas requests regarding hostages”
Israel completely rejects Hamas’ demands for ‘surrender’ in exchange for the release of the hostages kidnapped on October 7. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated this in a video message, according to ‘The Times of Israel’. “So far we have brought home 110 hostages and we are committed to bringing them all back,” Netanyahu says. “I am working on it every day. But let me be clear: I categorically reject the terms of the surrender of the Hamas monsters.”
The prime minister explains that in exchange for the release of the hostages, “Hamas demands an end to the war, the exit of our forces from Gaza, the release of all the murderers and rapists of the Nukhba forces. If we accept this, our soldiers are fallen in vain.” If we agree with this, Netanyahu adds, “we cannot guarantee the safety of our citizens. We cannot bring displaced people home safely, and another October 7th will only be a matter of time. I am not in a position to accept a such a fatal blow to Israeli security, and therefore I cannot accept it.” The prime minister says he clarified Israel’s position on this issue to US President Biden when they spoke over the weekend.
Hamas to families of Israeli hostages: “Your time is running out”
“The choice is yours, whether you want to recover coffins or live people. Your government is lying, time is running out“. According to what ‘Al Jazeera’ reports, this was stated by the al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, who published a photo with a message addressed to the families of the Israeli hostages held in the Gaza Strip. The Qassam Brigades have previously announced that many Israeli detainees have been killed by Israeli airstrikes on the Strip since the war began.
The October 7 attack on Israel was ‘a necessary step’, but the ‘chaos’ that followed resulted in some ‘mistakes’. This is what Hamas admits in a 16-page document, which is the group’s first public account of the “Al Aqsa Flood” operation in over three months. In the text, reported to Al Jazeera, we read that the attack was “a necessary step and the normal response to Israeli conspiracies against the Palestinian people“. “Perhaps – admits Hamas – some errors were made during the operation due to the rapid collapse of the Israeli security and military system and the case caused along the border areas with Gaza”.
The Palestinian terrorist group then claims that the objective of the assault was to “immediately put an end to the Israeli aggression in Gaza, the crimes and ethnic cleansing committed against the entire Palestinian population”. In the document, Hamas renews its request to Israel to immediately stop the “aggression” in Gaza.
The role of Europe
The EU is considering the possibility of impose “consequences” on Israel if its Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continues to oppose the creation of a Palestinian state. This was reported by the ‘Financial Times’. The proposal, which will be discussed tomorrow at a meeting of EU foreign ministers, highlights “growing discomfort” with Israel’s position among many of its Western allies. In a document, released ahead of the meeting and seen by the British newspaper, “Brussels proposed that EU member states ‘impose consequences for commitment or non-commitment’ to the proposed peace plan. The plan envisages the creation of a state for Palestine and mutual recognition of sovereignty – the so-called two-state solution“.
French Defense Minister in Israel will meet Netanyahu and hostage families
French Defense Minister Sébastien Lecornu will meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer, War Cabinet member Benny Gantz and National Security Advisor Tzachi Hanegbi in Israel tomorrow . According to the French embassy, ’The Times of Israel’ reports, Lecornu will also meet the families of the French hostages held in Gaza. Lecornu was last in Israel in November and has recently been to both Egypt and Lebanon. The meetings will focus on the war in Gazacome on attempts to free the hostageson the humanitarian situation in Gaza and on France’s attempts to prevent escalation in Lebanon and the Red Sea.
US envoy to Egypt and Qatar
The coordinator of the US National Council for the Middle East, Brett Magurk, will start a visit to Egypt and Qatar as part of a new three-country plan for negotiate an end to hostilities between Israel and Hamas and the release of Israeli hostages, detained by Palestinian militias in Gaza, in view of a more comprehensive peace agreement for the region. According to three sources familiar with the trip, confirmed to Axios, McGurk will begin his trip this evening in Cairo to meet with Egyptian Intelligence Minister Abbas Kamel, considered the main mediator in the currently stalled talks between Israel and Hamas. In Qatar, McGurk will meet with Prime Minister Mohamed bin Abdulrraman al-Thani, sources told Axios.
Security sources told the ‘Wall Street Journal’ today that this is a joint US-Egyptian-Qatari initiative, still in its embryonic stage and viewed with suspicion by both Hamas and Israel. The mediators proposed a 90-day plan which first of all involves suspending the fighting for an unspecified number of days so that Hamas releases all the Israeli civilian hostages first. Israel in exchange would release hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, withdraw forces from Gaza cities, allow freedom of movement in the Strip and double the aid reaching the enclave.
In the second phase, Hamas would release the Israeli female soldiers and hand over the bodies in its possession in exchange for further releases of Palestinian prisoners by Israel. A third phase would involve the release of Israeli soldiers and men of fighting age that Hamas considers soldiers, according to Egyptian officials, while Israel would begin “redeploying” some of its units outside the current borders of the Gaza Strip. The plan also includes the creation of an international fund for the reconstruction of Gaza and security guarantees for Hamas political leaders, Egyptian sources told the Wall Street Journal, before the final step: talks for a permanent ceasefire, the normalization of relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia and the relaunch of a process for the creation of an independent Palestinian state.
Gallant: “Israeli army ground operation in Khan Younis will expand”
The Israeli army’s ground operations will expand to Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. This was stated by Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant according to ‘The Times of Israel’. “We are conducting an intense operation in the Khan Younis area and it will continue to expand,” Gallant says after a flight over the Strip with the Israeli Air Force’s 100th Squadron. And this, he adds, “until we achieve our objectives, first of all, the defeat of Hamas and the return of the hostages”.