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Hamas, finally responding to hostage deal framework, insists Israel end its war


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Times Of Israel

Jerusalem says Mossad reviewing terror group’s response, which Biden calls ‘a little over the top’; Qatar ‘optimistic’ on prospect for deal
Jacob Magid

Feb. 6 2024

Hamas on Tuesday submitted its response to a framework for a hostage deal proposed by Qatar last month, appearing to maintain its demand for a permanent ceasefire, a non-starter for Israel, which has vowed to destroy the terror group.

Nonetheless, Qatar’s Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani said Doha was “optimistic” after receiving the terror group’s “positive response.” US President Joe Biden, on the other hand, said Hamas’s reply was “a little over the top,” while noting that negotiations were ongoing.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said Israel’s Mossad spy agency had received Hamas’s response through Qatari mediators and was reviewing the proposal. The Kan public broadcaster quoted an unnamed government source who said Israel would “not accept any conditions for ending the war,” which will enter its fifth month on Wednesday.

Hamas took over a week to respond to the Qatari proposal, whose details have not been publicized but is thought to feature an extended pause in the fighting in exchange for the staggered release of the remaining 136 Israeli hostages by Hamas and the release of a large number of Palestinian security prisoners by Israel.

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