International Netanyahu Rejects Peace with Hamas, Palestine Will Continue to Be Bombarded News – 7 hours ago

Jakarta, CNBC Indonesia – It is predicted that Israel's attacks on Gaza will not stop anytime soon. This happened after Israeli Prime Minister (PM) Benjamin Netanyahu decided not to continue peace negotiations with the Hamas militia which controls the Palestinian enclave.

Previously, talks mediated by Egypt and Qatar to try to reach a ceasefire in Gaza and secure the release of more than 100 Israeli hostages held by Hamas had not yielded results. An inconclusive round of talks in Cairo ended on Tuesday.

In a statement quoted by Reuters, Saturday (18/2/2024), Netanyahu said that his party would not return to further negotiations because they considered many of the conditions set by Hamas to be mere delusions.

He also said Israel would not give in to “international dictates” regarding a statehood agreement with the Palestinians, which he said could only be achieved through direct negotiations without preconditions.

“These demands include ending the war and leaving Hamas as is, releasing thousands of murderers from Israeli prisons, and even demands regarding the holy site in Jerusalem known as the Temple Mount in Judaism and the Noble Sanctuary in Islam,” he said.

Photo: Israel and Hezbollah exchange fire on the Lebanese border amid fears that the war in Gaza will spread. (REUTERS/Amir Cohen)
Israel and Hezbollah exchange fire on the Lebanese border amid fears that the war in Gaza will spread. (REUTERS/Amir Cohen)

“The Israeli representatives in Cairo sat and listened and nothing changed. I want to say not a millimeter, not even a nanometer, changed.”

Meanwhile, regarding the recognition of Palestinian sovereignty, Netanyahu said that Israel under his leadership would continue to strongly oppose unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state.

“An arrangement can only be reached through direct negotiations between the two parties, without preconditions,” he added.

Even though he still insists on accepting the peace proposal with Hamas, Netanyahu is under great pressure from Israeli citizens themselves. Thousands of Israelis gathered outside the military headquarters in Tel Aviv to support the hostages still in Gaza.

They held up photos and signs calling for the hostages' release, including one that read: “Time is running out!” Among them is Michael Levy, whose brother, Or, was taken hostage in the Hamas attack in southern Israel on October 7 that sparked the current war.

“We don't have any more time. Brother,” he said, stopping for a moment to look at his shirt which had his brother's picture on it.

“He (Or) had lost his wife, who was murdered in a horrific attack on October 7. He also had a son, a 2-year-old son, waiting for him at home.”

Hamas attacks killed about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, according to an Israeli tally. The militants also held 253 hostages, although more than 100 of them were freed in a temporary ceasefire last November.

On the other hand, Israel's counteroffensive has devastated large parts of Gaza, killing 28,775 people, also mostly civilians according to Palestinian health authorities. This attack also forced nearly 2 million Gaza residents to flee their homes.

Responding to this situation, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh blamed Israel for the lack of progress in reaching a ceasefire agreement in Gaza. The group said this in a statement on Saturday.

“Hamas will accept nothing less than a complete cessation of hostilities, Israel's withdrawal from Gaza and the lifting of the unjust siege, as well as the release of Palestinian prisoners serving long sentences in Israeli prisons,” he explained.

[Gambas:Video CNBC]

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