Netanyahu says Hamas has softened ultimatum it issued regarding hostage talks

Relatives and supporters light their phones and hold placards bearing portraits of Israeli hostages held in Gaza in Tel Aviv on December 30, 2023. (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP)
Relatives and supporters light their phones and hold placards bearing portraits of Israeli hostages held in Gaza in Tel Aviv on December 30, 2023. (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Tuesday that efforts to retrieve the remaining hostages held in Gaza by Hamas are ongoing and that Hamas offered an ultimatum that has since slightly softened, a statement from his office says.

The ultimatum appeared to refer to Hamas’s pre-condition for talks that Israel withdraw its forces from Gaza and agree to a permanent ceasefire.

Hamas, however, has not publicly withdrawn this demand.

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