Report: Israeli Officials Think Netanyahu Remarks Could Sabotage Ceasefire Deal

Israeli officials say the language is ambigious enough that the first phase could be implemented without Israel committing to a permanent ceasefire

Israeli officials are worried that recent comments from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu could sabotage the chances of the Gaza ceasefire proposal put forward by President Biden, Axios reported on Monday.

The Israeli officials said there was “constructive ambiguity” in the proposal that could allow Israel and Hamas to enter the first phase of the deal, which involves a six-week truce and initial hostage and prisoner exchange, without Israel committing to a permanent ceasefire.

A permanent ceasefire and Israeli withdrawal from Gaza has been Hamas’s main demand for a hostage deal. But since Biden outlined the potential agreement, Netanyahu and his close aides have said Israel would not agree to a permanent ceasefire until it achieves its goals, which include “destroying” Hamas’s capabilities.

Under the potential deal, the two sides would negotiate the terms for a permanent ceasefire during the first phase. A senior Israeli official told Axios that Netanyahu was “killing” the ambiguity by ruling out a permanent truce.

“Instead of keeping things ambiguous, his statements are pushing Hamas to ask for more clarification, making it harder to get a deal,” a second Israeli official said. The official added that it appeared Netanyahu was trying to placate Ministers Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben Gvir, who are threatening to resign and bring down the coalition government if the war cabinet agrees to the deal.

Netanyahu also has his own reasons for not wanting to pause the genocidal war in Gaza. Amid increasing international pressure, it would be hard for him to restart military operations in Gaza after a six-week ceasefire, and with no war, there would be more domestic pressure on him to resign.

Author: Dave DeCamp

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