Updated April 28th, 2024 at 10:12 IST

Accept Hostage Deal or We Will Storm Into Rafah: Israel's Big Warning to Hamas

Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz has stressed that the release of hostages remains a deep priority for them.

Reported by: Manisha Roy
Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz | Image:X/@Israel_katz

Jerusalem: Reaffirming its firm stance on getting back the hostages from the captivity of Hamas, Israel has issued warnings against the terror group, saying it will carry out a significant military operation in Rafah if they don’t accept the deal to release some out of 133 remaining hostages.

Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz has said that the plan to carry out the operation in Rafah will be suspended if they reach a deal.


Katz stressed that the release of hostages remains a deep priority for Israel. On Friday, an Egyptian delegation arrived to hold talks with Israel on the possibility of a new deal fostering peace.

Katz said that they will strike a deal if there is scope but that would not deviate them from their aim to destroy Hamas, their overall goal of the war.


Will Study Proposal: Responds Hamas 

Meanwhile, Hamas acknowledged Israel's official response to its latest ceasefire proposal. It said that it will examine the proposal before submitting its reply.


"Hamas has received today the official response of the Zionist occupation to the proposal presented to the Egyptian and the Qatari mediators on April 13," Khalil Al-Hayya, who is currently based in Qatar, said in a statement published by the group.

The centre of the negotiations lies on the release of some 20 to 40 hostages – women, the elderly – as a deal to pause the war between the two groups. In exchange, Israel will be expected to release Palestinian security prisoners and terrorists from its jails.


On one hand, Hamas is seeking to end the war permanently. Israel has maintained that it cannot let the terror group flourish in Gaza and that its military operation must be carried out to wipe them out.

While holding talks with their Egyptian counterparts on Friday, Israeli officials said that they are willing to give hostage negotiations "one last chance" to reach a deal with Hamas before moving forward with an invasion of Rafah. They said they are serious about preparations for the operation in Rafah and that it will not let Hamas drag its feet.


Antony Blinken to Visit Saudi Arabia for Gaza Ceasefire Talks

In the meantime, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected to visit Saudi Arabia next week to meet regional partners and discuss how to go forward to achieve a ceasefire in Gaza and the release of Israeli hostages, news agency Reuters quoting State Department reported.


"He will discuss the recent increase in humanitarian assistance being delivered to Gaza and underscore the importance of ensuring that increase is sustained," news agency Reuters citing a statement from Matthew Miller, State Department spokesperson, reported .



Published April 28th, 2024 at 09:55 IST