Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected Hamas’ offer for a full release of hostages in exchange for a 135-day cease-fire, a full Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and the release of well over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.
After U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Israeli officials, Netanyahu dismissed any possibility of agreeing to the terrorist group’s demands.
‘Surrendering to Hamas’ delusional demands that we heard now not only won’t lead to freeing the captives, it will just invite another massacre,’ Netanyahu said at the Wednesday press conference.
‘We will continue until the end,’ he said. ‘There is no other solution besides complete victory.’
The terrorist organization made their offer to Israel on Tuesday in response to previous terms sent to them last week by Egypt and Qatar.
‘We are on the way to complete victory. The victory is within reach,’ Netanyahu said Wednesday. He claimed the war could be finished ‘within a matter of months.’
The three-phase plan rejected by Netanyahu would have seen Israeli hostages released in stages – women and children first – in exchange for the Palestinian prisoners being held in Israel, including 500 Hamas would choose from a list of those serving life sentences..
Male hostages over the age of 19 would have been released after the first 45-day phase is complete and Israeli forces would have fully withdraw from Gaza at the same time.
Notably, the deal also specifically calls out UNRWA, with Hamas demanding that the organization maintain its role in overseeing aid to Gaza. The demand comes after Israel presented extensive evidence suggesting that there were at least 190 Hamas collaborators within the U.N. group.
Israel has previously said that it will not allow UNRWA to continue to operate in the region.
The deal also calls for a permanent cease-fire to be implemented after the third phase of the agreement is complete. Israel’s government has vowed that the war will not end until Hamas is destroyed, however.
Fox News’ Anders Hagstrom contributed to this report.