Netanyahu confirms Israel will not pay for release of Gaza hostages

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a speech at a conference of presidents of major American Jewish organizations, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Jerusalem on February 18, 2024. Reuters/Ronen Zvulun/file photo

Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich said Tuesday that Israel would pay no price for the return of hostages still in Gaza.In the context of negotiations to secure his release.

Smotrich said in response to a question about the 134 hostages remaining in Gaza. kan radio That his return was “very important”, but that he could not be released “at any cost”.

the way to free them was Increase military pressure on Gaza and defeat HamasThe terrorist group that rules the blockaded strip, he said.

His statements drew sharp criticism from opposition leaders. Yair Lapidand minister benny gantzAnd that angered some hostage families who are trying to increase pressure on the government for a deal.

Shortly after the radio interview, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office released a statement reiterating Smotrich’s position.

“There is tremendous pressure on Israel from inside and outside the country to stop the war before it achieves all of its objectives, including an agreement to release the hostages at any cost,” Netanyahu said. ,We are not willing to pay any price, certainly not the illusionary price that Hamas demands of us, which would mean the defeat of the State of Israel.,

The statements come as the United States plans to send its Middle East envoy to continue talks with Egypt, Israel and Qatar, with the aim of negotiating a ceasefire and the release of hostages.

Israel said 1,200 people were killed and more than 253 abducted in Gaza during an October 7 Hamas-led attack on its cities. Since then, Israeli air, land and sea attacks have killed nearly 29,000 Palestinians, according to Hamas-controlled Palestinian officials, while thousands have been trapped under debris, and much of the besieged area has been leveled. Has gone.

A group of people hold torches during a demonstration to demand the immediate release of hostages held by the Hamas rebel group in the Gaza Strip in Jerusalem on February 19, 2024. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)

North American presenters such as stars and community leaders Kathy Giffordhave made a direct appeal to Sheikha Moza bint-NasserProminent members of the royal family of Queue, To intensify its participation in the liberation of kidnapped people. “Use your power and take a more active role in freeing the hostages”Gifford said in a message that resonates with urgency and hope.

Gifford highlighted the importance of compassion and the power of stockings to create positive change.

Since the beginning of the conflict between Israel and Hamas, Moza has actively used his platforms to criticize Israel and support Gaza, showing himself as a leading voice on the war in the digital sphere. However, Gifford emphasizes that Moja can positively influence the situation by virtue of his power and authority in the area to assist the hostages.

The beauty of this call to action lies in its impact Queue Previous negotiations have demonstrated facilitating the first release agreement between Israel and the terrorist group. Now, as the war continues and innocent lives are at stake, the campaign hopes that additional efforts by figures like Sheikha Moza can hasten the release of the hostages and provide a ray of hope for ending the conflict.

Apart from his prominence in diplomacy, Sheikha Moza She is recognized for her education activism, taking advantage of Qatar’s vast resources to promote educational initiatives.

“Gaza hostages, many of whom are women and children, continue to suffer immeasurable harm despite having done nothing wrong. As a mother and grandmother, this breaks my heart. Certainly for you, Sheikha Moza, It affects you too. I pray that you will use your compassionate voice to join the call for her freedom.,, he wrote on his ex account betsy devosAmerican businesswoman and politician, who was the United States Secretary of Education.

(With information from Reuters)

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