Netanyahu calls Hamas’ ceasefire demands unacceptable

Tel Aviv, May 5 (UNI) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed on Sunday that his government was ready to reach a ceasefire and hostage release deal with Hamas, which he accused of making unacceptable demands.

“Hamas continues making extreme demands. Their main demand is that we withdraw all our troops from the Gaza Strip, put an end to the war and leave Hamas alone. The State of Israel cannot accept these terms,” Netanyahu said in a video message.

During the latest round of indirect talks with Hamas, the Israeli government demonstrated its readiness to make concessions, which were described as generous by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Netanyahu said.

Despite this, the Israeli prime minister stressed that his government would never give up on its military goals in Gaza. He said the Israeli pullout from Gaza would mean capitulation of Israel and “a huge victory for Hamas, Iran.”

“Israel was and is still ready to make a deal on a pause in fighting to ensure the release of our kidnapped people. We did this to free 124 hostages and then we were back to fighting. We have spent the past few weeks working around the clock to reach a deal that will bring the kidnapped back,” he said.

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