Hamas-Israel deadlock for hostage release: Proposal involved release of 40 hostages in return for six week ceasefire and release of roughly 900 Palestinian prisoners

Israeli-Army

Important Takeaways:

  • Israeli Leaders Could Face War Crimes Charges as White House Pushes Hostage-Ceasefire Deal
  • President Biden has again told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the White House opposes Israel’s planned invasion of the Gazan city of Rafah.
  • Meanwhile, Secretary of State Antony Blinken is in Saudi Arabia for the first leg of a Mideast tour to lobby for a ceasefire in exchange for the release of hostages in Gaza.
  • White House National Security Communications Advisor John Kirby told ABC, “That’s going to be right at the top of the list for Secretary Blinken to keep pushing for this temporary ceasefire. We want it to last for about six weeks. It would allow for all those hostages to get out, and of course to allow for easier aid access to places in Gaza, particularly up in the north.”
  • The website Axios reports the Israeli government has proposed a possible hostage deal with Hamas that includes discussing an end to fighting in exchange for the hostages.
  • Hamas reportedly has no objections to the deal and is sending a delegation to Cairo.
  • While ending the war has been a key Hamas demand, right-wing party members of Israel’s governing coalition have threatened to leave if it agrees to what they call a “reckless deal.”
  • Today Hamas took credit for launching about 20 rockets from southern Lebanon into northern Israel. The IDF says they were all intercepted.
  • Thousands demonstrated in Tel Aviv on Saturday, demanding the release of the hostages and the resignation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government, after a Hamas propaganda video showed two Israeli hostages in captivity: 47-year-old Israeli Omri Miran and Israeli American Keith Siegel, who said, “I want to tell my family that I love you very much.” He then begins to weep during his message.

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Israeli War Cabinet tells Hamas they have until Ramadan to release the Hostages

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Important Takeaways:

  • Israel sets date for Rafah offensive in ultimatum for Hamas: War cabinet member warns onslaught will begin in three weeks unless all hostages are released
  • Israel has threatened to invade Gaza’s Rafah by the start of Ramadan if Hamas does not return the remaining hostages in a dark ultimatum condemned by international observers.
  • The United States and other governments, as well as the United Nations, have issued increasingly urgent appeals to Israel to call off its planned offensive on Rafah, where three-quarters of the displaced Palestinian population has fled.
  • Some 1.2 million people are now taking shelter in sprawling tent encampments without access to adequate food, water or medicine in the city that used to be home to just 250,000.
  • But the Israeli government says the city on the Egypt border is the last remaining stronghold in Gaza of the Palestinian militant group Hamas.
  • ‘The world must know, and Hamas leaders must know – if by Ramadan our hostages are not home, the fighting will continue everywhere, including the Rafah area,’ Benny Gantz, a retired military chief of staff, told a conference of American Jewish leaders in Jerusalem on Sunday.
  • ‘Hamas has a choice. They can surrender, release the hostages and the civilians of Gaza can celebrate the feast of Ramadan,’ added Gantz, a member of the three-person war cabinet.
  • Ramadan, the Muslim holy month, is expected to begin around March 10.

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Hamas says it will not discuss release of hostages unless shooting ceases: but who broke the last cease fire?

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Important Takeaways:

  • Hamas Cuts Off Hostage Negotiations; Refuses to Talk Under Fire
  • The Times of Israel reported:
  • A Hamas statement claims that it will not agree to free any more hostages or even negotiate over them until the end of fighting.
  • The stance, which has been trotted out by the terror group before, comes amid intense talks for a possible deal that would see hostages released in exchange for Palestinian inmates in Israeli prison. The group already claims it won’t accept a temporary truce.
  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that Israel would continue the war to “eliminate” Hamas even if negotiations continued.
  • Pressure for talks rose last weekend, after the tragic deaths of three Israeli hostages who managed to escape their Hamas captors. Israeli soldiers mistook them from afar for terrorists.
  • The Israeli public, however, remains committed to the fight, even though there is also support for talks to free the hostages.
  • Palestinian rocket attacks against Israel continue: a large salvo was fired from a Hamas-controlled area of central Gaza toward Tel Aviv and central Israel on Thursday, but caused no injuries.

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2 more days of ceasefire; Hostages await their return home after 52 days

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Important Takeaways:

  • Israel and Hamas agreed to extend the four-day ceasefire two more days, in hopes that the pause will see the release of an additional 20 hostages.
  • On Monday, 11 Israelis, including 2 mothers and 9 children, returned home after 52 days in captivity by Hamas.
  • Among the reunions: 15-year-old Dafna and her 8-year-old sister Ela, who are now with their birth mother. Hamas murdered their father, step-father and step-brother in Kibbutz Nir Oz.
  • The White House expects more reunions
  • …the White House is skeptical concerning how Hamas may use the ceasefire.

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Jerusalem Post is reporting that Hamas began attacking Israeli Forces violating ceasefire

Release-hostages

Important Takeaways:

  • 11 Israeli hostages returned to Israel on Monday, bringing the total released to 76.
  • Hamas terrorists attacked Israeli forces in the northern Gaza Strip on Tuesday as efforts continued to extend the ongoing ceasefire, according to initial reports.
  • Shortly after the reported incident the spokesperson for Hamas’s al-Qassam Brigades Abu Obeidah claimed that Israeli forces had committed a “clear violation” of the ceasefire in the northern Gaza Strip and that Hamas had “dealt with this violation.”
  • “We are committed to the truce as long as the enemy has committed to it, and we call on the mediators to pressure the occupation to adhere to all the terms of the truce on the ground and in the air,” said Abu Obeidah.
  • Palestinian media claimed that shortly after the reported incident, Israeli fighter jets were scrambled over the Gaza Strip.

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During four day pause in fighting Hamas releases third group of hostages as Netanyahu visits soldiers inside Gaza

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Important Takeaways:

  • Quick Facts
    • Over 1,400 Israelis (392 soldiers) have been killed, and over 7,000 have been injured.
    • The IDF has notified families of 240 being held hostage in Gaza.
    • The IDF has struck over 15,000 Hamas targets.
    • Over 9,500 Rockets have been fired by Hamas toward Southern and Central Israel from Gaza (over 500 failed launches have fallen inside Gaza), with Lebanon and Syria also firing from the north.
  • His visit came during the four-day fire pause in the fighting, part of a deal with Hamas to release Israeli hostages.
  • “We are here in the Gaza Strip with our heroic soldiers,” Netanyahu said.
  • “We are making every effort to return our hostages, and in the end, we will return them all. We have three goals in this war: Eliminate Hamas, return all of our hostages, and ensure that Gaza will not go back to being a threat to the State of Israel.”
  • These comments came just hours before seventeen more hostages were released by the terror organization Hamas on Sunday evening and transported by the International Red Cross to the Israeli border.
  • One of the hostages, 84-year-old Alma Abraham, was evacuated by a helicopter to Soroka Hospital in Beersheba directly from the border, reportedly in serious condition.

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Day 47: Israel approves deal for 50 hostages to be released

Hostages

Important Takeaways:

  • Israel Approves Deal To Get 50 Hostages Back From Hamas: ‘We Will Continue The War Until We Achieve The Goals’
  • Israeli officials voted on Wednesday morning local time to approve deal in which dozens of hostages kidnapped by Hamas will be let go in exchange for Israel releasing some Palestinian women and minors convicted of crimes from prisons inside Israel.
  • Hamas will release 12-13 hostages a day for four days in exchange for a ceasefire during that period of time, The Times of Israel reported. Israel will release about three times that number to return to their homes in Judea and Samaria and East Jerusalem.
  • Israel also reportedly agreed to allow fuel to go into Gaza, as well as a “significant amount of humanitarian aid,” the report said. Israel’s military and security agencies all reportedly supported the deal. It’s not clear when the ceasefire will go into effect.
  • Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly demanded that some of the conditions include the possibility for further hostages to be released after the four day pause, a commitment by Hamas to locate and find hostages held by other terror groups inside Gaza, and a refusal to release Palestinians from Israeli prisons who have been convicted of murder, the report noted, adding that Israel believes Hamas can help locate 30 additional women and children who were taken hostage by other terrorist groups.

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Desperate parents plead for the release of their 32 children including a nine-month-old baby being held hostage

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Important Takeaways:

  • BRING THEM HOME Innocent faces of 32 children held in tunnels by Hamas as distraught parents plead with terror group to release them
  • The desperate parents of 32 child hostages snatched by Hamas pleaded last night for the terror group to release them.
  • The petrified youngsters are being held underground in the 311-mile network of tunnels dubbed the Gaza Metro as Israel battles to crush the jihadists and bring them home.
  • AN anguished mum whose two daughters were snatched by Hamas terrorists asked last night in disbelief: “Who kidnaps children?”
  • Dafna Eyakim, 15, and her sister Ella, eight, were among 32 child hostages — one just nine months old — taken in the bloodthirsty raid on Israel on October 7.
  • Mother Mayaan, 50, laid bare her desperation as a photo emerged of her tearful girls on mattresses in a tunnel under Gaza.
  • It was published on social media channel Telegram by Hamas with the Arabic message: “Dress them in prayer clothes” — a taunt as they are in pajamas.

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Americans held hostage and Joe Biden takes a walk on the beach

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Important Takeaways:

  • Crisis, What Crisis? Biden Enjoys Breezy Beach Walk as Middle East Explodes
  • President Joe Biden has been seen in pictures and videos enjoying a weekend of walks on Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, as Hamas terrorists pushed their campaign of destruction against Israel and the U.S. placed additional troops on prepare-to-deploy orders to the Middle East.
  • One short clip shows the octogenarian and first lady Jill Biden strolling the Atlantic beachfront on Sunday while a reporter off screen asks him about the release of Americans being held hostage by Hamas terrorists.
  • Biden cheerily waves towards the reporter but does not stop to answer questions before continuing his jocund seaside perambulation.
  • “Americans are still being held hostage by Hamas terrorists—and Joe Biden is at the beach,” the RNC Research group posted on X, formerly Twitter, in recording the exchange.
  • Earlier in the day Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin placed additional U.S. troops on prepare-to-deploy orders to the Middle East, as Breitbart News reported.

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A global affair with victims from 36 countries

Hostage-Posters

Important Takeaways:

  • 25 Americans Dead Among Hamas Victims from 36 Countries: ‘My Mom Died on Top of Me’
  • S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced Thursday at least 25 Americans were killed by Hamas terrorists in the barbaric attacks that targeted unarmed civilians inside Israel on Saturday.
  • Blinken, who is in Israel, vowed American support to Israel as its military continued airstrikes in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip in preparation for a likely ground operation in Gaza.
  • “You may be strong enough on your own to defend yourselves, but as long as America exists you will never have to,” Blinken said after meeting with Netanyahu in Tel Aviv. “We will always be there by your side.”
  • The Israeli military said it is currently targeting Hamas’ senior military and political leaders, whom it blames for the weekend attack. Its missiles are aimed at Hamas infrastructure embedded among the civilian population of Gaza.
  • Meanwhile, the death toll in Israel continues to climb. More than 1,300 Israelis, mostly civilians, have been murdered by Hamas, and Gaza officials say at least 1,200 people have died in the airstrikes. The terror group attempts to hide among Palestinian civilians as it continues to fire rockets into southern Israel.
  • Citizens from 36 nations are missing, have been murdered, or are among the hostages who have been abducted by Hamas.
  • “By the way, many of the hostages are dual nationals — Americans, Brits, Germans, French, Italians, Brazilians, and many other nationalities. Some are not even Israelis. There are Thai workers that were taken, and abducted for, I don’t know what reason,” Conricus added.
  • France has said that 11 French citizens are confirmed dead in the fighting and 20 are unaccounted for, including several believed held hostage.
  • The British government has said 10 or more U.K. citizens are dead or missing after the attacks on southern Israel.
  • The Colombian government reported the first death of one of its citizens in Israel

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