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Updated Feb 7, 2024, 2:25pm EST
securityMiddle East
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Semafor Signals

Netanyahu rejects Hamas truce proposal as ‘delusional’

Insights from Al Jazeera, The Washington Post, Al-Monitor, and Axios

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A view shows damaged buildings in Gaza, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, as seen from Israel, January 12, 2024. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
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The News

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has rejected a truce proposal from Hamas, Reuters reported.

The proposed 135-day ceasefire would have see all remaining Hamas hostages freed. It would have also prompted the Israel Defense Forces’ full withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, a phased release of Palestinian prisoners, and the immediate reconstruction of the enclave.

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“Surrendering to Hamas’ delusional demands that we heard now not only won’t lead to freeing the captives, it will just invite another massacre,” Netanyahu said in a televised address Wednesday.

He reiterated his goal of “eliminating” Hamas before his country ends its military operation. “The day after is the day after Hamas. All of Hamas,” he said.

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SIGNALS

Semafor Signals: Global insights on today's biggest stories.

Israel was expected to push back on the plan

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Source:  
Al Jazeera

Egyptian analysts believe that Israel will attempt to soften some of the proposals included by Hamas. The truce deal includes “maximalist positions” from Hamas, Hussein Haridi, a former Egyptian assistant foreign minister, told Al Jazeera. While there is momentum building for an agreement between both sides, a deal is unlikely to be imminent. “We don’t expect that Israel will say yes to everything,” Haridi said, adding that U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s visit to Israel suggested that Washington is keen to push forward a peace plan.

US pushing for deal to involve normalized ties with Saudi Arabia

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Sources:  
The Washington Post, Al Monitor

Washington has been pressing Israel to accept a deal that would include normalization of ties with Saudi Arabia, a plan that had been underway before Oct. 7. But while the U.S. has claimed that those talks have proceeded separately from ceasefire negotiations, Riyadh has pushed back, saying that it won’t accept any agreement with Israel until a two-state solution — which uses borders established in 1967, with Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital — is agreed. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly rejected calls for the establishment of a Palestinian state, and vowed to continue the war against Hamas until every member of the militant group has been “eliminated.”

Talks for calm at Lebanon border also underway

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Source:  
Axios

The U.S. and four European allies — the U.K., France, Germany, and Italy — are hoping for calm at Israel’s border with Lebanon, where the IDF and Hezbollah, a militia funded by Iran, have exchanged fire since Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel. Peace talks arranged by the U.S. are underway, Axios reported, and the five nations are set to announce an economic benefit for Lebanon in an attempt to bolster the deal. Washington is concerned that a full-scale war could break out between Israel and Lebanon, and has called for Israel to stop flying fighter jets over Lebanese airspace.

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