Journalists say Netanyahu is the ‘diplomatic official’ issuing statements on hostage talks

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a video address regarding reports that the ICC may issue arrest warrants against Israeli officials, April 30, 2024. (Screenshot/GPO)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a video address regarding reports that the ICC may issue arrest warrants against Israeli officials, April 30, 2024. (Screenshot/GPO)

Several Israeli journalists are naming the “diplomatic official” who issued a pair of statements during Shabbat on the hostage deal being negotiated in Cairo as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In this evening’s primetime broadcast, Channel 12’s Yaron Avraham says he won’t take part “in this game,” identifying Netanyahu as the official who issued the statements.

“These statements are not based on the view of the entire war cabinet,” Avraham adds, while saying that the anonymous official insisting in recent days that the IDF will enter Rafah is also Netanyahu.

As part of his report, Avraham says Netanyahu did not invite war cabinet member Benny Gantz and observer Gadi Eisenkot to a phone consultation today during which it was decided not to send a delegation to Cairo. Present on the call were Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer and National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi.

The Haaretz daily’s military analyst Amos Harel also says the premier issued the statements, in a piece titled “the negotiations on a hostage deal have reached a critical point, and Netanyahu’s statement is hindering the chances of a deal.”

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