Netanyahu Sabotaging Deal With Hamas By Issuing List of Demands

An Israeli official says the prime minister is working to torpedo the chances of an agreement

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a list of demands for a potential hostage deal ahead of more indirect negotiations between Israel and Hamas, a move seen by mediators and Israeli officials as an attempt to sabotage the chances of an agreement.

Netanyahu’s list of demands, which he called “non-negotiable,” included a condition that Israel would be allowed to resume military operations “until all of the objectives of the war have been achieved.” Netanyahu’s objectives include the “eradication” of Hamas, a goal the Israeli military has said is not realistic.

Hamas’s primary condition for a deal is a permanent ceasefire, and Netanyahu’s insistence on having the ability to resume his genocidal war appears to be the main obstacle. The Israeli leader’s repeated public comments about the issue led Hamas to ask for stronger guarantees during previous negotiations.

According to media reports, Hamas has softened its stance a bit by not asking for Israel to commit to a permanent ceasefire right away. However, the Palestinian group is asking mediators to provide written guarantees that negotiations for a permanent truce will continue once the first phase of the deal goes into effect.

An Israeli security official told Channel 12 that by issuing his list of demands, Netanyahu is “emphasizing the gaps” between Israel and Hamas just before an Israeli delegation heads to a fresh round of negotiations.

Netanyahu’s full list of demands includes:

  1. Any deal will allow Israel to resume fighting until all of objectives of the war have been achieved.
  2. There will be no smuggling of weapons to Hamas from Egypt to the Gaza border.
  3. There will be no return of thousands of armed terrorists to the northern Gaza Strip.
  4. Israel will maximize the number of living hostages who will be released from Hamas captivity.

Another Israeli security official slammed Netanyahu, saying he “pretends that he wants a deal, but is working to torpedo it.” The official added that Netanyahu was “dragging out the process, trying to stretch time until his speech in Congress and then the [Knesset] recess.”

A senior official from one of the countries mediating the negotiations told The Times of Israel that Netanyahu’s non-negotiable demand about the resumption of fighting hits at the most sensitive issue in the negotiations.

The report said mediators have convinced Hamas to keep in place the ambiguous language “that allows both Israel to feel comfortable enough that it has the ability to resume fighting if Hamas ceases to negotiate in good faith and Hamas to feel comfortable enough that the mediators will prevent Israel from resuming the war instead of implementing the permanent ceasefire that is stage two of the deal.”

The senior official said statements “made by the prime minister severely harm efforts to maintain that ambiguity” and added that it’s likely been done “purely for political purposes.”

Netanyahu’s demands are seen as an effort to appease National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, who has threatened to quit the government if a deal with Hamas is reached.

Author: Dave DeCamp

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