JERUSALEM, | Xinhua | Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday that his government will not release Palestinian prisoners or withdraw forces from Gaza, despite international efforts to achieve a ceasefire deal.
Netanyahu said in Eli, an Israeli settlement in the occupied West Bank, that “I hear various claims about potential deals, and I want to it make clear: we will not conclude this war without achieving all our goals. This entails eliminating Hamas, releasing all of our hostages, and ensuring that Gaza no longer poses a threat to Israel.”
“We will not withdraw our forces from the Gaza Strip,” he said, adding Israel will not release thousands of Palestinian prisoners.
His remarks come after Israel deemed talks in Paris earlier this week as “constructive.” Senior U.S., Qatari, Egyptian, and Israeli intelligence and government officials gathered to discuss a deal to end the conflict.
Also on Tuesday, Ismail Haniya, head of Hamas’ political bureau, stated in a press release that his movement had received and is studying the proposal, which involves stopping the conflict in Gaza and releasing the hostages in exchange for the release of prisoners from Israeli jails.
At least 26,751 people have been killed and 65,636 others injured in Gaza since Israel launched its massive offensive on October 7, 2023, following a Hamas-led onslaught on southern Israel, resulting in approximately 1,200 casualties. ■
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