Israel will not agree to end the war with Hamas as part of any deal

Negotiations are expected to continue in Cairo into the weekend.

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Saturday, May 4, 2024
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As the Israel-Hamas war approaches the seven-month mark, renewed negotiations are underway to secure the release of hostages taken by the terrorist organization, as Israeli forces continue to prepare for an apparent invasion of the southern Gaza town of Rafah.

An Israeli official has told ABC News that Israel will not agree to end the war as part of any potential deal.

"Israel will under no circumstances agree to the end of the war as part of an agreement to release our abductees," an Israeli official told ABC News on Saturday morning.

"As the political echelon decided, the IDF will enter Rafah and destroy the remaining Hamas battalions there - whether or not there will be a temporary ceasefire for the release of our hostages."

A Hamas delegation is returning to Egypt on Saturday to continue negotiations for a cease-fire with Israel.

The group released a statement stating leadership had a "positive spirit" in response to the cease-fire proposal that was offered.

"We are going to Cairo in the same spirit to reach an agreement," the group said in a statement.

"We in [the] Hamas movement and the Palestinian resistance forces are determined to mature the agreement, in a way that fulfills the demands of our people for a complete cessation of aggression, the withdrawal of the occupation forces, the return of the displaced, relief for our people, the start of reconstruction, and the completion of a serious exchange deal."

Meanwhile, President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke in a phone call over the weekend, discussing increasing the delivery of humanitarian aid into Gaza and plans for a possible military operation in Rafah, according to the White House.