ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 149

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Netanyahu said to block Gantz, Eisenkot request to rush Israeli hostage deal response to mediators

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Knesset, Jerusalem, February 7, 2024. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Knesset, Jerusalem, February 7, 2024. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Channel 12 reports that during last night’s war cabinet meeting, National Unity ministers Benny Gantz and Gadi Eisenkot requested that Israel’s response to Hamas’s latest hostage deal demands be formally drafted and sent immediately to the Egyptian and Qatari mediators.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected the request, instead saying that he wanted to bring the response to the full cabinet in what will likely delay the process by several days, Channel 12 reports, noting that it is also less likely to be approved given the many hardline ministers who oppose making concessions to Hamas in exchange for the hostages.

It is unclear how this squares with a separate Axios report that says Israel did in fact pass along a series of responses to the mediators. Channel 12 subsequently says Israel’s response was merely passed along verbally to the mediators, but not more formally in writing.

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