'If we agree to this, our troops will have fallen in vain,' PM rejects Hamas terms to end war

PM says if Israel agrees to terror group's conditions to end fighting, withdraw forces from Gaza, release all Hamas prisoners and allow its rule to stand, ‘next October 7 will be just a matter of time’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday evening flatly rejected terms proposed by Hamas to end the war in the Gaza Strip.
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According to him, the terrorist organization, which he called "Hamas monsters," demands an end to the fighting, withdrawal of forces from the Gaza Strip, release of all its people held in Israeli prisons and the maintenance of Hamas' rule in Gaza in exchange for the release of hostages.
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דבריו של בנימין נתניהו ביום ה-104 למלחמה
דבריו של בנימין נתניהו ביום ה-104 למלחמה
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
(Photo: Yariv Katz)
"If we agree to this, our troops will have fallen in vain. If we agree, we cannot guarantee the security of our citizens. We won't be able to safely return evacuees to their homes, and the next October 7 will be just a matter of time. I cannot reconcile such a grave compromise on Israel's security, hence we will not agree to it," he said in a recorded message.
"The conditions set by Hamas underscore a simple truth - there is no substitute for victory. Only absolute victory will ensure the eradication of Hamas and the return of all our hostages."
Netanyahu added, "To date, we have brought back 110 of the hostages, and we are committed to bringing back all of them. This is one of the objectives of the war, and military pressure is a necessary condition for its completion. I am working around the clock on this matter. But let it be clear: I outright reject the surrender conditions of the Hamas monsters."
According to the prime minister, he conveyed these same views to U.S. President Joe Biden in their conversation last weekend. "I greatly appreciate the support of the United States for Israel, and I expressed this to the president. Nonetheless, I firmly stand by our vital interests. I emphasized to President Biden our determination to complete all war objectives, ensuring Gaza no longer poses a threat to Israel," he said.
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יחיא סינוואר
יחיא סינוואר
Hamas leader in Gaza Yahya Sinwar
(Photo: EPA)
Netanyahu also reiterated his stance on the day after the war, which has drawn international criticism - advocating for "full security control over the entire area west of the Jordan River."
"I insist that after achieving total victory and eradicating Hamas, there should be no entity in Gaza funding, educating or sending out terror. Gaza must be demilitarized, under full Israeli security control," he said.
"As the prime minister of Israel, I have firmly held this position against significant international and domestic pressures. My insistence has prevented the establishment of a Palestinian state that would pose an existential threat to Israel. As long as I am prime minister, I will continue to strongly uphold this stance. If someone has a different opinion, they should show leadership and honestly express their view to the citizens of Israel."
Netanyahu's statement comes on the heels of a new outline presented by the U.S., Egypt and Qatar, pushing Israel and Hamas to join a phased diplomatic process that would start with a release of hostages and, eventually, lead to a withdrawal of Israeli forces and an end to the war in Gaza
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