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Israel pulls negotiators from Qatar as Hamas rejects truce deal

Tel Aviv: Israel has recalled its negotiating team from Qatar after Hamas rejected its latest offer on a hostage deal and truce, an Israeli official said. The Mossad chief, David Barnea, had been in Doha for eight days. Israel refused to agree to several demands, including a total ceasefire requested by Hamas.

Sources in the Israel defence ministry revealed that Hamas had demanded a complete ceasefire, withdrawal of Israeli troops, and rehabilitation of Palestinians in northern Gaza. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated, “Hamas’ rejection of a US brokered compromise proves their lack of interest in continuing talks.” Israel is firm in not giving in to what it called “delusional demands” made by Hamas.

Defence Minister Yoav Gallant and hawks in the Israeli establishment were against a temporary truce. Military intelligence reports suggest that Hamas’ military structure has weakened, with only four battalions remaining in southern Gaza. The IDF chief informed the war cabinet that defeating Hamas and capturing Yahya Sinwar, the mastermind behind a massacre in 2023, was imminent.

The Israel defence ministry sources disclosed that Hamas seemed to be stalling for time, anticipating violence in the West Bank by Hezbollah. This strategic move aimed to pressure Israel into mediation due to international scrutiny. The situation remains tense as Israel stands firm against Hamas’ demands, risking the potential escalation of violence.

IANS

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