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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (Image: Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

“Netanyahu does not want to reach an agreement at all, he creates difficulties and puts obstacles,” according to the unnamed official. 

An Israeli official accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday of not willing to strike a deal with the Palestinian Resistance movement Hamas on a possible ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, Israeli media reported.

“Netanyahu does not want to reach an agreement at all, he creates difficulties and puts obstacles,” Israeli Broadcasting Corporation KAN quoted the unnamed official as saying.

The official reportedly added that it is possible to reach an agreement with Hamas within days but Netanyahu requested a review of a comprehensive deal, contrary to the Egyptian offer.

According to the Anadolu news agency, Netanyahu’s office has yet to comment.

Earlier Friday, a top Egyptian security delegation arrived in Tel Aviv to discuss a possible cease-fire, according to Egyptian and Israeli media.

Private broadcaster Al Qahera news TV quoted an unnamed Egyptian source as saying that the delegation will discuss a comprehensive ceasefire framework, saying there was “significant progress” narrowing differences between the Egyptian and Israeli delegations.

Meanwhile, KAN reported that security services “believe that this is the last opportunity to return the hostages from Gaza.”

Israeli news website Ynet also confirmed the arrival of an Egyptian delegation in Israel to meet with officials in efforts to achieve a deal.

On Friday, White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said that there are new Qatari-Egyptian efforts underway to try to reach a deal between Hamas and Israel. 

He added that there is new momentum in talks about conducting a prisoner exchange deal, without providing further details.

However, Egyptian media reported on Friday that Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich threatened Netanyahu to leave the government if the Egyptian initiative goes through.

‘We Received a Response’

Hamas announced on Saturday that it had received Israel’s official response to a prisoner and ceasefire proposal it sent to Egypt and Qatar on April 13.

“Hamas received Israel’s official response to the movement’s proposal delivered to mediators, Egypt and Qatar, on April 13,” Khalil al-Hayya, the group’s deputy head in the Gaza Strip, said in a statement, according to Al-Jazeera.

“The movement will study this proposal, and upon completion, will submit its response to the mediators,” al-Hayya added.

The Israeli response coincided with a visit by a top Egyptian security delegation to Tel Aviv on Friday to discuss a possible Gaza ceasefire, according to Egyptian and Israeli media.

Hamas has repeatedly stated that it requires an end to Israel’s genocidal war on the Gaza Strip and the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the territory.

Gaza Genocide

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7.  

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 34,388 Palestinians have been killed, and 77,437 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 7,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip. 

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli war has resulted in an acute famine, mostly in northern Gaza, resulting in the death of many Palestinians, mostly children. 

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire’.

(PC, Anadolu)

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