Increasing calls in Israel to conclude a deal with Hamas and indications of continued obstruction by Netanyahu Increasing calls in Israel to conclude a deal with Hamas and indications of continued obstruction by Netanyahu

Increasing calls in Israel to conclude a deal with Hamas and indications of continued obstruction by Netanyahu

Increasing calls in Israel to conclude a deal with Hamas and indications of continued obstruction by Netanyahu

Nazareth -The war council in Israel will meet this Sunday evening, followed by the expanded ministerial council. To consider the Hamas movement’s proposal to conclude a new deal, amid doubts and estimates that the Prime Minister of the occupation, Benjamin Netanyahu, is not interested in it as a result of several calculations.

The War Council is expected to determine the limits of the powers of the security delegation headed by Mossad Chief David Barnea, who will fly to Doha tomorrow, Monday, to begin negotiations with mediators regarding the proposed deal. Also according to Israeli sources, Hamas’ proposals call for achieving a deal in three stages, in the first: the return of Gazans to the northern Gaza Strip and the exchange of prisoners (950 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for 40 detainees, women, children, wounded, elderly, and five female soldiers), and in the second stage: the release of service-age men. The military announced a six-week truce, and on the third: an exchange of bodies, an Israeli withdrawal, and the start of the restoration of the Gaza Strip.

According to Israeli sources, Hamas requires the return of Gazans to the northern Gaza Strip, which Israel strongly rejects. Because it nullifies the results of the war and puts the northern Gaza Strip in the hands of Hamas again, but it is prepared for a gradual return: women and children without an Israeli withdrawal from the corridors. Hamas also proposes a clear equation for the exchange: the release of 40 living detainees in exchange for 800 Palestinian prisoners, which includes the release of 250 prisoners, including 100 who were convicted of killing Israelis, and 50 “heavy” prisoners whose identities Hamas will identify in exchange for five female soldiers.

In return, Israel agrees to release only 404 prisoners in exchange for the release of 40 detainees, just as it agrees to release only 90 prisoners, including 15 “heavy ones,” in exchange for the five female soldiers. However, Hamas is committed to the return of Palestinian prisoners to their homes, while Israel wants to evacuate them abroad.

The significance of the threat to invade Rafah
At the same time, Netanyahu’s office continues to talk about his approval of the plan to invade Rafah, and this does not fall solely within the efforts to pressure Hamas to reduce its demands in order to reach a “cheap” deal. Such a repeated threat to invade Rafah is a continuation of the normalization of the idea that the world declares its reservations about, including Israel’s allies such as the United States and Germany. This is because the occupation government is interested, albeit later, after Ramadan, in continuing the war, hoping for a victory or an image of victory, and to complete the suppression of the Palestinians’ awareness of the occupation. And destroying the entire Gaza Strip in retaliation for October 7, and improving deterrence and prestige.

Against the backdrop of this and others, Israel is witnessing an increasing and clearer discussion about the proposed deal after more than 160 days of war on Gaza. After revealing the features of the deal proposed by Hamas, the newspaper “Haaretz” on Sunday quoted Israeli security sources as saying that Hamas’ response entails positives and gains and that negotiations can be entered into with it, noting, for example, that the movement waived the condition of stopping the war completely and postponed it to the third stage. Of the deal.

Likewise, opposition leader Yair Lapid called again for the completion of the deal, even if the price was high, and expressed his readiness to support the government in doing so and avoid bidding on it. This is what an increasing number of observers and analysts in Israel are calling for, including the political commentator in the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, Shimon Schaefer, who supports the position of the security establishment, which realizes that the high price is due to reach the deal, while the newspaper “Haaretz” stresses in its editorial today the necessity of achieving the deal. Deal immediately.

Let Israel look in the mirror
For his part, Middle East affairs researcher at Tel Aviv University, Michael Millstein, also an expert on Palestinian affairs, said that it is time for Israel to look in the mirror and see what is and what is missing: It is vital to realize that it is not possible to create a new reality or destroy the military and authoritarian forces of Hamas without occupation. Long term for the Gaza Strip, and secondly, the Palestinian Authority does not have the ability to manage the Strip. Therefore, it is preferable to establish local civilian rule with the participation of local forces, led by the Fatah movement, with continued Israeli security control, at least in the coming years.

In an article published by Yedioth Ahronoth today, he says that Israel is faced with bad options and must choose the least bad. This bad option, despite being full of problems, is still better than slogans such as absolute victory, and illusions about Arab or foreign partners to fundamentally change the reality and awareness of the Palestinians. He suffices with alluding to the necessity of searching for a major political solution by saying: “There is no settlement or bargaining over vital national interests, but we are required to be prepared for a long and exhausting historical process.”

Although his accounts are internal or personal, the extremist right-wing minister without portfolio, Gideon Saar, interacts with the criticism directed at Israel and its failure to achieve the goals of the war, saying: “So far we are playing with the ball in the Gaza court and we have not yet scored a goal... We are involved in stagnation in the place, and a war council.” "He is responsible for that."

Netanyahu's intentions
In the context of the various positions regarding the proposed deal, sources close to Netanyahu said that Hamas’s proposals are empty and that it must soften its positions in order to advance. Meanwhile, doubts continue about Netanyahu’s intentions , as Haaretz and Yedioth Ahronoth newspapers quote Israeli sources saying that the latter is not enthusiastic about the deal, but rather seeks to evade or obstruct it and is trying to buy time.

Perhaps this explains Netanyahu’s failure to respond to phone calls from Ministers Gallant and Eisenkot, who tried to contact him yesterday to persuade him to send the negotiating delegation to Doha today, Sunday, instead of tomorrow, Monday, but to no avail.

Later, Netanyahu's office said that as long as a date was set for the war council meeting today, there was no need for a telephone conversation yesterday. To demonstrate Netanyahu's intentions to obstruct the deal, anonymous Israeli sources today point to his decision not to limit himself to a small council meeting, but rather to hold a subsequent meeting of the expanded ministerial council, in which a large number of ministers oppose each deal.

Behind these suggestions that Netanyahu is not interested in the deal, there are not only internal political calculations related to his remaining in power, but rather it is an attempt to continuously search for a lost victory, or at least an image of victory. It seems that Netanyahu is afraid of destabilizing his coalition and appearing as the defeated when hundreds of Palestinian prisoners are released from Israeli prisons while raising the sign of victory, and this is what an Israeli source who spoke to Haaretz today alludes to.

Therefore, Netanyahu's threat to invade Rafah is not a maneuver to pressure Hamas, but rather a real desire on his part. This explains the increasing concern expressed about this scenario by the United States and Germany, whose advisor arrives in Tel Aviv today from Amman.

8 Comments

  1. Although his accounts are internal or personal, the extremist right-wing minister without portfolio, Gideon Saar, interacts with the criticism directed at Israel and its failure to achieve the goals of the war, saying: “So far we are playing with the ball in the Gaza court and we have not yet scored a goal... We are involved in stagnation in the place, and a war council.” "He is responsible for that.

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