Photo Credit: Chaim Goldberg / Flash 90
View of Destroyed buildings in the Gaza Strip, as seen from the Israeli side of the border, on March 6, 2024.

The Hamas terrorist organization has walked away from negotiations in Cairo for a temporary ceasefire and hostage release deal brokered by Qatar, Egypt and the United States.

Israel did not attend this round of talks, seeing no point in wasting time after repeated sessions in which Hamas consistently refused to compromise on demands deemed “delusional” by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.


Israel itself has demanded a detailed list of the names of remaining hostages and specific information on which of these hostages are living and which are not.

Hamas has declined to cooperate; its officials have said they are unable to produce a detailed list of the hostages who remain in captivity, nor a list of those hostages who are still living, claiming they have “lost touch” with some of their captors.

“If you are Israel and you are in discussions about an agreement where you would see the return of a certain number of hostages, it is a fair question to Hamas to show you that they can actually deliver on that deal, and show you who those hostages are, and confirm that they are alive, and confirm their status,” US State Department spokesperson Matt Miller told reporters Tuesday in a briefing.

“We think that is very much a legitimate request by the State of Israel, to know what exactly Hamas can deliver, and what is the status of the hostages that they are holding, the hostages they have held for well over a hundred days now, and are they actually prepared to deliver them over as part of any agreement.” At least six of those hostages held by Hamas in Gaza are US citizens.

Hamas also refuses to relinquish its control over Gaza, and refuses to surrender. There has basically been no change in the terror group’s stance since the start of the talks.

“A delegation from Hamas left Cairo today to consult with the movement’s leadership, with negotiations and efforts continuing to stop the aggression, return the displaced, and introduce relief aid to our Palestinian people,” Hamas said Thursday in its announcement.

“The ceasefire talks in Cairo, which were extended an extra day, ended without reaching an agreement. The Zionist entity reportedly rejected the demand for permanent ceasefire, withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, and the return of the displaced, which are the central demands of the resistance.”

Those demands, described in a statement one day earlier, include a permanent ceasefire, return of Gazans to an area that is still an active combat zone, complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza and the delivery of significantly increased humanitarian aid, most of which up to this point has been repeatedly looted and stolen from civilians by their Hamas terrorist masters.

With the Islamic holy month of Ramadan set to begin on Sunday evening, the United States and its fellow brokers in the talks were hoping Hamas would settle for a temporary ceasefire and step-by-step release of its hostages in return for increased humanitarian aid and six weeks of “quiet” in Gaza.

But that now appears unlikely, and it is not yet clear how and when the Israel Defense Forces will proceed with their planned military operation to dismantle the remaining four Hamas battalions in the southern Gaza border city of Rafah, where more than a million Gazans have taken refuge from the fighting.

From the outset, Israel has vowed to entirely dismantle the Hamas terrorist organization and free the hostages its operatives kidnapped after the group led some 3,000 terrorists in its invasion of Israel on October 7th, during which its operatives methodically tortured and then slaughtered at least 1,200 people while abducting 253 others, dragging them into Gaza captivity. Israel has also vowed not to end the war without first ensuring that Gaza never again presents a threat to the Jewish State.

To that end, Israel refuses to accept the Palestinian Authority as a governing force in Gaza for “the day after” the war since its leaders, like those of Hamas, consistently call for a “one-state solution” in which the State of Israel would not exist.

The Ramallah government continues to spend millions of dollars each year on generous monthly payments to convicted terrorists incarcerated for attempting (and sometimes succeeding) to murder Israelis, as well as stipends to the families of those who die in those attempts. The Palestinian Authority has yet to condemn the atrocities committed by Hamas-led terrorists on October 7, and continues to incite against Israel and advocate for the annihilation of the Jewish State in its children’s programming, school textbooks and public media.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.