Hamas warns Israel – Firstpost

Hamas warns Israel – Firstpost
Hamas warns Israel – Firstpost

The current round of talks follows Hamas’ announcement late on Monday that it had approved a ceasefire plan put out by Egyptian and Qatari mediators, claiming that Israel now had the upper hand Image Courtesy Reuters

A senior Hamas official warned that Tuesday would be Israel’s “last chance” to free its detainees when a delegation from the Palestinian organization was scheduled to depart for Gaza to conduct negotiations in Cairo.

“This could be the final opportunity to rescue the Israeli hostages,” the official stated, speaking about the negotiations but wishing to remain anonymous.

The official stated that following Israel’s incursion into the Rafah border crossing in southern Gaza, the Hamas negotiators had canceled their earlier Tuesday plans to travel from Doha to Cairo for negotiations, but they would be departing “shortly” for Egypt.

The source issued a warning, stating that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has “decided to let the prisoners (hostages) die” by his “decision to invade Rafah.”

“This will be the last chance for Netanyahu and the families of the Zionist prisoners to return their children,” the official said.

If not, he warned, “the fate of the hostages will be the same as the fate of pilot Ron Arad,” referring to the 1986 downing of an air force navigator over Lebanon. Arad is thought to have been detained by Shiite organizations there and is currently thought to be dead.

Israeli officials said that discussions were scheduled for later on Tuesday.

The current round of talks follows Hamas’ announcement late on Monday that it had approved a ceasefire plan put out by Egyptian and Qatari mediators, claiming that Israel now had the upper hand.

After months of sporadic negotiation, mediators have not succeeded in bringing about a fresh ceasefire similar to the one that released 105 captives in November of last year, including Israelis in return for Israeli-held Palestinian inmates.

Previous attempts at talks had failed partly due to Netanyahu’s threats to destroy Hamas’s surviving fighters in Rafah and the Palestinian organization’s demand for an indefinite ceasefire.

Families of the hostages have been among those putting up constant pressure on Israel to work out a settlement with Hamas so that the prisoners could be sent home.

The Hostages and Missing Families Forum stated on Tuesday that it had pushed Israel to reach an agreement with Hamas for the release of its people who are being held hostage by sending letters to the ambassadors of other states.

“This is the time to exert your influence on the Israeli government and all other parties concerned to ensure that the agreement comes through which will finally bring all our loved ones home,” the message said.

Palestinian terrorists took some 250 hostages, including foreigners and dual nationalities, including US, Thai, French, British, and Russian people, during the October 7 raid that ignited the bloody conflict in Gaza.

Over 1,170 people were killed in Hamas’s October 7 strike, the majority of them were civilians, according to an AFP count of Israeli government numbers.

The health ministry of the Hamas-run enclave in Gaza reports that at least 34,789 individuals have died as a result of Israel’s retaliatory offensive against the group, the majority of them were women and children.

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