Israel, Hamas Return to Hostage Negotiations as Gallant Warns Hezbollah to Back Off

Updated: July 8, 2024 at 11:16 am EST  See Comments

JERUSALEM, Israel – Israel and Hamas head back to the negotiating table for the release of hostages, including some Americans. However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insists on maintaining principles already agreed to by Israel.

Netanyahu believes the plan approved by Israel and supported by President Joe Biden allows the return of hostages without jeopardizing the goals of the war.

His non-negotiable principles include:

 – Israel’s ability to resume the fighting

 – Ending weapons smuggling from Egypt to Hamas

 – Maximizing the number of living hostages released from Hamas

In Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces took some foreign journalists inside Rafah, the scene of two months of fighting.   

IDF Chief Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari explained, “Hamas built everything in a civilian neighborhood among houses, among mosques, among the population, in order to create its terror ecosystem. This is part of the Rafah Brigade military framework.”

In the North, Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant toured the border with Lebanon. He said what happens in Gaza won’t affect the fight against Hezbollah. 

“Even if we reach an agreement regarding the hostages deal, and I very much hope that we will be able to reach one in the south, it does not affect what

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