Netanyahu rejects Hamas ceasefire terms, vows to pursue “total victory” in Gaza

The statement comes after Hamas presented a list of requests in exchange for a truce.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ruled out accepting Hamas’s conditions for a ceasefire in Gaza, saying he aims to achieve “total victory” in the territory within months.

He made the statement after Hamas presented a list of requests in exchange for a truce.

The Palestinian group that controls Gaza offered a three-stage plan, each lasting 45 days, that would involve the gradual swap of captives in the territory for Palestinian inmates in Israel – some of whom have life sentences – as well as a huge humanitarian and reconstruction project.

Hamas did not demand an immediate halt to the war, unlike before. The talks for a lasting peace would happen during the calm period and the final exchange of prisoners would only occur after a conclusive agreement to end the war, the paper stated.

The offer was a reply to a draft deal put forward by mediators in Paris at the end of the previous month. A high-ranking Hamas official, Muhammad Nazzal, verified the authenticity of the text to CNN.

Netanyahu called their demands “strange” and said the talks with them were “going nowhere”.

“We have no choice but to win completely and finally,” Netanyahu said at a news conference on Wednesday.

“If Hamas remains in Gaza, the next slaughter is only a matter of time.”

A senior Hamas official told Reuters news agency that Netanyahu’s comments on the truce offer indicate that he wants to continue the war in the region, and that Hamas was ready for any scenario.

A source from Egypt told the BBC that a new round of talks will begin tomorrow in Cairo, with the involvement of Egypt and Qatar.

Egypt urges all sides to be flexible and reach a peaceful agreement.

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