Written by 20:58 World

Israeli Leaders to Discuss Hamas Response on Cease-Fire Proposal

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel told President Biden on Thursday that he is sending a new delegation of negotiators to Gaza cease-fire talks, Mr. Netanyahu’s office said, all the while reiterating that Israel would end the war “only after achieving its goals.”

The cease-fire talks, which are based on proposals laid out by the Biden Administration and backed by the United Nations, ground to a halt in June. Israel’s stated goals include destroying Hamas’s military and governing capabilities in the Gaza Strip, and ensuring that the Palestinian enclave cannot again pose a threat. Both aims could still take substantial time to achieve, if at all.

“The Prime Minister informed President Biden of his decision to send a delegation to continue negotiations for the release of the hostages and reiterated the principles to which Israel is committed, chief among them Israel’s commitment to ending the war only after achieving all of its goals,” the statement from Mr. Netanyahu’s office said.

Efforts to revive the negotiations came amid simmering tensions along Israel’s northern border, with the Lebanese armed group Hezbollah launching an unusually large rocket and drone attack toward Israel on Wednesday and even bigger one on Thursday, in retaliation for Israel’s killing of a Hezbollah commander on Wednesday. The rocket barrage killed one Israeli reservist officer and sparked wildfires along Israel’s northern border.

Mr. Netanyahu’s government, which includes members who are opposed to a cease-fire deal, was meeting Thursday to discuss Hamas’s response to the new truce proposal and the release of hostages.

Regional mediators — mostly Qatar and Egypt — have sought to revive dormant talks with Israel and Hamas, which do not communicate with each other directly, about a cease-fire in Gaza after nearly nine months of war. The Biden administration hopes that a truce in Gaza will allow Israel and Hezbollah, which has been firing at Israel in solidarity with Hamas, to reach a diplomatic settlement as well.

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Last modified: 4 July 2024
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