Hamas Cuts Off Hostage Negotiations; Refuses to Talk Under Fire

Palestinian militants from the Ezzedine al-Qassam brigade, the armed wing of Hamas
NurPhoto/Corbis via Getty Images

The Palestinian Hamas terrorist group has cut off negotiations with Israel, demanding a lull in fighting before any more talks. Israel, which is closing in on Hamas leaders in Gaza, refused that demand.

The Times of Israel reported:

A Hamas statement claims that it will not agree to free any more hostages or even negotiate over them until the end of fighting.

The stance, which has been trotted out by the terror group before, comes amid intense talks for a possible deal that would see hostages released in exchange for Palestinian inmates in Israeli prison. The group already claims it won’t accept a temporary truce.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that Israel would continue the war to “eliminate” Hamas even if negotiations continued.

Pressure for talks rose last weekend, after the tragic deaths of three Israeli hostages who managed to escape their Hamas captors. Israeli soldiers mistook them from afar for terrorists.

Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, another Iranian-backed group, sought to exploit the moment to press publicly for a permanent ceasefire as a condition of negotiations.

The Israeli public, however, remains committed to the fight, even though there is also support for talks to free the hostages.

Palestinian rocket attacks against Israel continue: a large salvo was fired from a Hamas-controlled area of central Gaza toward Tel Aviv and central Israel on Thursday, but caused no injuries.

Update: Hamas official Ghazi Hamad told Al Jazeera that talks are off, because Israel will not agree to a permanent ceasefire. Via Times of Israel:

“Some people are looking for a small pause — a pause here and there for one week, two weeks, three weeks,” Hamad says. “But we want to stop the aggression [completely].”

“Because I think Israel will take the card of the hostages, and after that they will start a new round of mass killing and massacres against our people. I think we will not play this game,” says Hamad, who has said Hamas would carry out October 7-like attacks repeatedly in the future until Israel is destroyed.

Ghazi Hamad is notorious for promising to repeat the October 7 attacks.

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.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.