Israel Palestine Conflict

Israel’s Netanyahu says troops will enter southern Gaza regardless of hostage release

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday said critics calling for Israel not to mount military action in Rafah were effectively telling the country to “lose the war” against Hamas.

The Israeli premier also indicated that troops would go into the southern Gaza Strip city regardless of whether a hostage release was agreed. “Even if we achieve it, we will enter Rafah,” he told a televised news conference.

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Netanyahu said that he had sent negotiators for truce talks in Cairo as requested by US President Joe Biden but they did not go back for further talks because Hamas’ demands were “delusional.”

He said there was no point in further negotiations until Hamas makes changes to its demands.

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Netanyahu, speaking to reporters, also said that a broader diplomatic deal with the Palestinians could only be reached through direct negotiations without any preconditions.

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