Israel withdraws negotiators from Qatar after Hamas rejects truce deal

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Israel has recalled its negotiating team from Qatar after Hamas rejected its latest offer on a hostage deal and truce, an Israeli official said. The delegation led by the Mossad chief, David Barnea, had been in Doha for eight days. Israel has said that it will not relent to many of the demands put forward by the meditators, including Qatar and Egypt on behalf of the Hamas side.

According to sources in the Israel defense ministry, Hamas had again put forward a demand for a total ceasefire, withdrawal of Israeli troops and rehabilitation of Palestinians in northern Gaza from the south where they have been staying as refugees since the war broke out.

Meanwhile, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a statement on Tuesday night said, “Hamas wanted a permanent ceasefire and its decision to reject a US-brokered compromise was clear proof of it not interested in continuing talks, and a sad testament to the damage caused by the UN Security Council resolution.”

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The statement also said, “Israel won’t cave into delusional demands made by Hamas.” The hawks in the Israeli establishment, including Defence Minister Yoav Gallant were not willing for even a temporary truce. This is owing to the military intelligence reports that Hamas military infrastructure has crumbled and only four battalions were remaining in southern Gaza and that it was only a matter of time before Hamas caves in.

The IDF chief has also briefed the Israel war cabinet that it was only a matter of time for the army to defeat Hamas and to take out its elusive and dreaded leader, Yahya Sinwar — the mastermind of the October 7, 2023 massacre. The Israel defence ministry sources told IANS that the Hamas was trying to buy time and was expecting an escalation of violence in the West Bank area by the Hezbollah side before the end of Holy Ramzan month, which would force Israel to enter into mediation at the behest of international pressure.