Gallant says Israel can and willing to pay price in hostage deal

Defense Minister says IDF achievements in the war place Israel in a position of strength and provides flexibility to enable a deal that would see hostages released, which he says is absolute commitment of the government
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said on Monday that the position of power obtained by the IDF in Gaza allows flexibility in hostage release negotiations.
"We have the absolute commitment to bringing our hostages home and the operational circumstances created by the IDF's constant pressure on Hamas and our position of power achieved in battle, allows us flexibility, freedom of movement and the ability to make difficult decisions," Gallant said during a visit to the IDF inductions center.
"There will be difficult decisions and we are prepared to pay a price to release the hostages," he said adding that as in the November hostage release and cease-fire deal, the military would know how to return to the fight.
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גלנט: מה שקורה עכשיו ברצועת עזה זה דבר ללא תקדים
גלנט: מה שקורה עכשיו ברצועת עזה זה דבר ללא תקדים
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant speaking to troops at the IDF induction center on Monday
(Photo: Ido Erez)
"We will do all we must, and I think we are at the right point. Will this lead to a hostage release deal? I don't know," he said.
Gallant spoke as the Saudi Asharq Al-Awsat reported that CIA chief William Burns proposed a lull in the fighting during the Muslim holiday of Eid al Fitr which begins on Tuesday and lasts through Friday.
Far-right members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition voiced their opposition to a scale down of the fighting in Gaza and a withdrawal of troops and that they would oppose concessions in a hostage release deal.
Netanyahu met with Bezalel Smotrich after the Finance Minister demanded that the security cabinet be summoned urgently to be briefed on the redeployment of troops, the ongoing negotiations for a hostage deal and the failure to launch an offensive of Rafah.
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ישיבת הממשלה ביום ה-93 למלחמה
ישיבת הממשלה ביום ה-93 למלחמה
Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
(Photo: Ronen Zvulun / EPA)
Smotrich met with his party members and told them he demanded answers from the prime minister.
"Following the withdrawal of troops from Gaza and the general reduction in the intensity of the war, along with long delays in entering Rafah, reports of Israel's readiness to discuss the return of Gaza civilians to the northern Strip effectively ending the war, and publications about granting a significantly broad mandate to negotiation teams, I demand that you convene a special Cabinet meeting tonight for a full update and comprehensive information on the war's status," he said in a letter sent to Netanyahu earlier.
While National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir placed an ultimatum on Netanyahu to continue the war against Hamas.
"If the prime minister decides to end the war without a broad attack on Rafah in order to defeat Hamas, he will not have a mandate to continue serving as prime minister," Ben-Gvir posted on X.
Coalition party sources say they believe that Netanyahu is "phasing out the war" and does not intend to fulfill his promises of "dismantling Hamas" and achieving "total victory."
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