Israel's War Cabinet rejects Netanyahu's conditions for talks with Hamas

The Israeli War Cabinet rejected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's two conditions, which are a major impediment to talks with Hamas about a prisoner swap and a cease-fire in Gaza, local media reported on Monday.

The Cabinet rejected Netanyahu's pre-conditions for moving forward with negotiations with Hamas, which included a list of Israeli hostages alive in Gaza, according to Israeli public broadcaster KAN.

Putting such a condition at the start of negotiations with Hamas is not a good idea, the Cabinet criticized its prime minister, suggesting that this condition could be discussed at the end of the talks, as was done in the previous deal, the broadcaster said.

It also criticized Netanyahu's demand for a specific number of Palestinians to be released in exchange for each Israeli held captive.

"There is no reason for this step, which makes negotiations difficult," an unnamed informed Israeli source told the news channel.

As of yet, Netanyahu's office has not commented on the media report.

With Qatari-Egyptian-American mediation, a deal between Hamas and Israel was reached for a week until December 1, during which prisoners were exchanged amid a cease-fire and very limited humanitarian aid was allowed into Gaza, which has been subjected to a devastating Israeli war since Oct. 7.

Tel Aviv currently estimates that there are approximately 136 Israeli hostages in Gaza, while Tel Aviv holds no less than 8,800 Palestinians in its prisons, according to official sources from both parties.

However, Hamas later announced the killing of 70 hostages as a result of the Israeli bombing of Gaza.

Israel has launched a deadly offensive on the Gaza Strip following a cross-border incursion by the Palestinian group Hamas on Oct. 7. The ensuing Israeli bombardment has killed 30,534 people and injured 71,920 others with mass destruction and shortages of necessities.

The Israeli war has pushed 85% of Gaza’s population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water, and medicine, while 60% of the enclave's infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

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