Hamas, Islamic Jihad Demand Total Ceasefire Before Any Hostage Release

Hamas terrorist (Hazem Bader / AFP via Getty)
Hazem Bader / AFP via Getty

Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror organizations said Saturday evening that they would not agree to release further Israeli hostages until a complete and total ceasefire — effectively demanding that Israel abandon the war and accept defeat.

Hamas said in a statement quoted by the Abu Ali Express channel on Telegram: “Hamas emphasizes that its position is that there will be no negotiations for a prisoner release deal until the aggression against our people ceases completely. Hamas announced this position to all mediators.”

Palestinian Islamic Jihad said: “We are ready for a prisoner exchange deal only after a ceasefire and we stand by this condition.”

The hard-line position taken by the two Iranian-controlled terror organizations will be impossible for Israel to accept, and will make attempts by the United States to urge a new “pause” in fighting impossible.

Palestinian media channels have focused in the past 24 hours on the demonstrations in Israel by families and supporters of the hostages, who reacted with anguish and anger to the news that Israel had accidentally killed three hostages in Gaza on Friday.

It would seem that the Palestinian terror organizations interpreted Israel’s internal turmoil as a sign that it could exploit the event to end the war and prevent Israel from achieving its objectives — while still holding over 125 hostages to bargain for concessions.

News of Hamas’s response came shortly after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other members of his government held a press conference in which they discussed the tragedy and promised to continue pursuing the war until Hamas had been destroyed.

The Israeli government had also reportedly sent the head of the Mossad spy agency to Europe to meet with a Qatari representative to gauge the possibility of new talks to release hostages, but the terrorists’ stance has effectively shut the door.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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