ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 140

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Hamas doubles down on demand for permanent ceasefire in hostage release talks

Palestinian terror group Hamas has given its answer to the hostage release framework worked out in Paris last weekend, and is still demanding a permanent end to the war, the end of the Israeli-Egyptian blockade on Gaza, the reconstruction of the enclave, and the release of Palestinian security prisoners.

These terms have been non-starters for Israel, which is seeking shorter pauses in fighting for a phased hostage release.

Hamas says in a statement that the terror group “engaged with the proposal in a positive spirit” and was demanding a “comprehensive and complete ceasefire, and ending the aggression against our people, and guaranteeing relief, shelter, [and] reconstruction, [and] lifting the blockade of the Gaza Strip, and completing a prisoner exchange.”

Qatar earlier said Hamas’s answer was a “positive response” and US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said the US will review Hamas’s answer and he will discuss the developments with Israel tomorrow when he arrives on a visit, following trips to Cairo and Doha.

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