Photo Credit: Etay Beit-On / GPO
Netanyahu at the Conference of Presidents of the Major American Jewish Organizations. Feb. 18, 2024

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has added two more conditions to any hostage deal negotiated with Hamas terrorists in the talks brokered by Qatar, Egypt and the United States, according to reports Sunday night by Israel’s Channel 12 News and Ynet.

Netanyahu raised the conditions during discussions this weekend by Israel’s war cabinet over the points presented by the delegation that had returned from talks in Paris.

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According to the reports, Netanyahu conditioned further progress in the talks on receiving a list specifying which of the 134 hostages being held captive in Gaza are still alive.

The prime minister is also demanding that any “heavy” terrorists with blood on their hands released from Israeli prisons as part of the deal be deported directly to Qatar as a condition for their release.

The Israeli delegation to the talks was set to depart again on Monday, this time to Qatar, for further negotiations.

Hamas has not yet officially responded to the outline for a deal being discussed by Israel, Qatar, Egypt and the United States.

However, Taher Al-Nunu, media adviser to Hamas political bureau chief Ismail Haniyeh, told Al Jazeera in an interview this weekend that as far as the Iranian-backed terror group is concerned, a complete withdrawal by the IDF from Gaza is a main concern.

“The keys to negotiations are three main issues: a sustainable ceasefire, ending any military presence of the occupation in the Gaza Strip, and allowing all the needs of our people including reconstruction and ending the siege,” Al-Nunu said.

“We have not received any official information about what happened in Paris,” the Hamas spokesperson added.

“We have not received any Arab vision to discuss the internal Palestinian situation, and we are keen on organizing the Palestinian home on solid and sound bases … We should not talk about the Gaza Strip as if it is an isolated or separate part of the Palestinian homeland. We are not in a state of estrangement with Fatah, and our doors are open to everyone to talk in the interest of the Palestinian people.”

Fatah is the leading faction of the Palestinian Authority government in Ramallah. Fatah and the Ramallah government are both led by Mahmoud Abbas.

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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 Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.