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A major deal between Israel and Hamas that would have seen the release of dozens of people abducted on October 7 has apparently fallen through. The deal did not happen due to "minor" details, according to the Qatari prime minister.
The Telegraph reported that Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said on Sunday that the primary elements blocking the agreement were "practical and logistical" in nature, adding that he was confident the two sides were close enough to reach a deal.
He went on to say that the challenges currently standing in the way of a deal were much smaller than the bigger challenges presented in the past, adding that "[t]he deal is going through ups and downs from time to time throughout the last few weeks."
However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has insisted that there has not been an agreement between the two sides. The revelations come after Netanyahu turned down a ceasefire with Hamas that would have seen the release of hostages earlier this month.
Initial reports suggested that U.S., Israel, and Hamas had come to an agreement that would see women and children released by Hamas. But Netanyahu dismissed these claims, saying that these rumors were "unsubstantiated."
“I would like to make it clear: as of now, there has been no deal," Netanyahu said. "But I want to promise: when there is something to say – we will report to you about it."
During his Saturday briefing, Netanyahu was pressed on whether he has been offered a serious deal that would see the release of 50 hostages. He was also asked about whether he has insisted that all hostages be released at the same time. He said that there was no deal "on the table," adding that "[w]e want to get back all the hostages."
“We’re doing the utmost to bring back the most possible, including in stages, and we are united on this.”
“We obviously want to bring [home] whole families together."
The Times of Israel reported that Minister Benny Gantz, head of National Unity, said the top priority should be to get the hostages back home. He went on to say that Israel has “decades if needed to destroy this thing," appearing to reference Hamas.
“We don’t have decades to bring the people home… So, yes, from my point of view, it is a priority to get the hostages back. But that priority doesn’t override our obligation” to take down Hamas, “however long it takes."
“I want to bring back the elderly, and the children. Nobody here wants anything else. Nobody in Israel wants anything else."
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