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Israel Is Refusing To Accept A Permanent Ceasefire Deal That Will Allow Remaining Hostages In Gaza To Return Home

On Jan. 21, Netanyahu rejected a proposal by Hamas to end the war on the condition that Hamas release the remaining over 100 Israeli hostages in exchange for Israel withdrawing its forces, releasing Palestinian prisoners and letting Hamas continue to govern Gaza.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has refused to accept a deal for a permanent ceasefire in return for all of its remaining hostages to return home.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu heads the weekly cabinet meeting
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu heads the weekly cabinet meeting at the Defence Ministry in Tel Aviv. (Photo by RONEN ZVULUN / POOL / AFP)

On Sunday Jan. 21, Netanyahu rejected a proposal by Hamas to end the war on the condition that Hamas release the remaining over 100 Israeli hostages in exchange for Israel withdrawing its forces, releasing Palestinian prisoners and letting Hamas continue to govern Gaza.

supporters hold placards bearing portraits of Israeli hostages held in Gaza
Relatives and supporters hold placards bearing portraits of Israeli hostages held in Gaza since the October 7 attacks by Hamas in southern Israel, durnig a rally calling for their release. (Photo by AHMAD GHARABLI / AFP)

Netanyahu said that accepting Hamas’ proposal would mean leaving Hamas “intact” and that Israel’s soldiers would have “fallen in vain”.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu chairs Cabinet meeting
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu chairs a Cabinet meeting at the Kirya, which houses the Israeli Ministry of Defence. (Photo by ABIR SULTAN / POOL / AFP)

Israel and Hamas have been in intense talks mediated by Qatar, US and Egypt for a ceasefire deal, since Dec. 28.

protesters gathered in Whitechapel call for peace and a ceasefire Gaza
Hundreds of protesters gathered in Whitechapel for a Palestine Day of Action to call for peace and a ceasefire in Gaza and freedom for Palestine in East London, United Kingdom. (photo by Mike Kemp/In Pictures via Getty Images)

According to Reuters, the mediators have proposed a deal that would see Hamas gradually release the remaining more than 100 Israeli prisoners in Gaza, in return for Israel releasing Palestinians held in Israeli prisons and letting aid flow into Gaza over 30 days.

people-calling-for free the prisoners in Tel Aviv israel gaza
Families of Israeli hostages carrying photos and banners march to Kaplan Street to call on the government to make a deal to free the prisoners in Tel Aviv, Israel. (Photo by Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu via Getty Images)

Mediators are trying to convince Hamas to accept a month-long ceasefire followed by a potential permanent ceasefire.

smoke of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip toward Israel
The smoke of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip toward Israel lingers above a building on January 7, 2024, amid ongoing battles between Israel and Hamas militants. (Photo by AFP)

Hamas has said it would make a deal only if a permanent ceasefire is guaranteed.

demonstrator wears face painting Free drawing of a watermelon
A demonstrator wears face painting reading ‘Free’ and a drawing of a ‘watermelon’ during a protest in support of Palestine and to demand a ceasefire in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)

But the Israeli government is pushing for deal that would allow hostages to return home but keep the war going even after the brief pause in fighting.

Israeli tanks armored personnel carriers move along border Gaza Strip
Israeli tanks and armored personnel carriers move along the border with the Gaza Strip in Southern Israel. (Photo by Amir Levy/Getty Images)

Netanyahu has said that nothing will stop Israel from fighting until “total victory” in Gaza.

people call for peace ceasefire Gaza freedom for Palestine
Hundreds of protesters gathered in Whitechapel for a Palestine Day of Action to call for peace and a ceasefire in Gaza and freedom for Palestine in East London, United Kingdom. (photo by Mike Kemp/In Pictures via Getty Images)

However, he is under increasing pressure back home from both members of his government and the families of the hostages to agree to a deal.

sign featuring israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rally
A sign featuring an image of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is pictured during a rally in Victoria Embankment Gardens organised by Na’amod UK to call for a ceasefire in Gaza. (photo by Mark Kerrison/In Pictures via Getty Images)

Following his rejection of the deal on Sunday, the families of hostages remaining in Gaza stormed a parliament meeting on Monday to protest his refusal to accept a deal.

pro Palestinian protesters take part in a Global Day of Action ceasefire
Tens of thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters take part in a Global Day of Action to call for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza in London, United Kingdom. (photo by Mark Kerrison/In Pictures via Getty Images)

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