Ahead of renewed hostage-truce talks, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office has issued a list of four non-negotiable demands as mediators prepare to meet in Cairo and Doha this week.

The demands are:

  1. Any deal will allow Israel to resume fighting until its war aims are achieved.
  2. Weapons smuggling to Hamas from the Gaza-Egypt border will not be possible.
  3. The return of thousands of armed terrorists to the northern Gaza Strip will not be possible.
  4. Israel will ensure the maximum number of living hostages are returned from Hamas captivity.

Netanyahu’s refusal to halt the IDF ground operation in Rafah has brought Hamas back to the negotiating table. He stands firmly behind the principles already agreed upon by Israel.

The framework agreed by Israel and welcomed by President Biden aims to secure the return of hostages without compromising the other objectives of the war.

Meanwhile, Leader of the Opposition, Yair Lapid criticized Netanyahu’s hardline stance.

“I have one response to the Prime Minister’s announcement: What is it good for? We are at a critical moment in the negotiations, and the lives of the hostages depend on it. Why issue such provocative messages? How does it contribute to the process?”.
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Lapid is in the Yesh Atid party, and a former journalist. He has been the Leader of the Opposition since January 2023 and had served as the 14th Prime Minister of Israel from 1 July to 29 December 2022. Less than 6 months.

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