Netanyahu Unilaterally Vetoes Further Hostage Deal Talks

A group representing hostage families said the move was a 'death sentence' for the Israelis remaining captive in Gaza

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vetoed further hostage deal talks without consulting his war cabinet, infuriating families of Israeli hostages in Gaza, The Times of Israel reported.

The Hostages and Missing Families Forum, a group representing relatives of most of the Israeli hostages in Gaza, said it was “stunned” by Netanyahu’s move to end the talks. “It appears that some of the members of the cabinet decided to sacrifice the lives of the hostages without admitting it,” the group said, adding the decision was a “death sentence” for Israeli captives.

Israeli media is reporting that war cabinet members Benny Gantz and Gadi Eisenkot of the National Unity party are furious over Netanyahu’s move and met on Wednesday to discuss their response.

The veto came after Mossad chief David Barnea met with US, Egyptian, and Qatari officials in Cairo on Tuesday to discuss a potential hostage deal. Before the meeting, Netanyahu rejected an outline for a proposal drawn up by his top officials and instructed Barnea to only “listen” and not offer any new proposals.

Egypt and Qatar are looking to hold another meeting on Thursday, but Israel has said it will not attend. The Times report said that in Israel’s absence, Hamas officials will go to Cairo.

Israeli officials have dismissed Hamas’s latest offer for a hostage deal as “delusional.” The Palestinian group proposed a 135-day truce to facilitate the release of Israeli hostages and Palestinian prisoners and to work toward a permanent ceasefire. Hamas wants Israel to release 1,500 Palestinians, which is reportedly a major sticking point for the Israeli side.

Netanyahu has an interest in continuing the slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza, as polling has shown Israelis want him to resign or for new elections to be held once the military operation is over. The Israeli leader is planning to launch a major assault on Rafah, the southern Gaza Strip city on Egypt’s border that’s packed with 1.5 million Palestinians.

An Israeli invasion of Rafah will inevitably kill a huge number of civilians since the majority of Palestinians are sheltering in tents on the streets of the city. Despite expressing some concerns, the US has given Israel the green light to attack Rafah and will not impose any consequences if civilians are killed.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.