Netanyahu’s office blasts leaks from hostage negotiator: ‘They only harden Hamas’s position’

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

As the war cabinet prepares to meet in order to prepare for a resumption of talks for a hostage deal, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blasts leaks from his negotiators, saying they “only harden Hamas’s position, harm families, and delay the release of our abductees.”

The statement comes after Channel 12 published bitter criticism of the government made by reservist general Nitzan Alon, the IDF point man for hostages, last week in a closed meeting. Alon reportedly said that the current government will not allow for a hostage deal.

“While Prime Minister Netanyahu time and again gave the negotiating team an extensive mandate to release our abductees,” says the statement from Netanyahu’s office, “Sinwar continues to demand the end of the war, the withdrawal of the IDF from the Gaza Strip, and leaving Hamas intact so that it can carry out the atrocities of October 7th over and over again.”

“Prime Minister Netanyahu strongly opposes this,” the PMO stressed.

In past rounds of talks, there has been suspicion from Netanyahu’s inner circle that Alon was leaking details of the talks to Israeli journalists.

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