Netanyahu Pulls Out Of Talks Over 'Delusional' Hamas Demands, Hostage Families Stunned

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Feb 14, 2024 - 10:25 PM

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said Israel has pulled out of talk with Hamas, and repeated the complaint that Hamas' conditions for a possible ceasefire are "delusional". 

"Israel is holding out for Hamas to change its position before taking any further role in negotiations, the PM’s office said Wednesday," Bloomberg reports.

Prior talks in Cairo involving the CIA's Burns and President Sisi, via the Egyptian presidential Facebook page

The official statement reads: "Netanyahu insists that Israel will not give in to Hamas’s delusional demands." His office stipulated that "A change in Hamas’s positions will allow the negotiations to advance." Hamas has insisted that for a deal to proceed, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) would have to completely withdraw from the Gaza Strip first. The Israeli side has rejected the demand as a non-starter.

The Israeli delegation under Mossad intelligence chief David Barnea returned to Israel from talks in Egypt on Tuesday. This new development means Netanyahu is declaring he's 'done' with the talks.

A group representing families of the remaining hostages has said it is "stunned" by Netanyahu's pullout from negotiations. The Israeli PM reportedly didn't want to send representatives to Cairo at all, but Israeli media says the Biden administration brought immense pressure to bear for him to do so.

Families of the hostages have also accused Netanyahu of actively 'thwarting' the negotiations, alleging he has an interest in keeping the war going for the sake of his own political survival. Part of the controversy too is that the mainstay of the peace plan was drawn up by Israel’s own Mossad spy agency, the Shin Bet security agency, and the IDF.

The New York Times on Wednesday says talks will now go to a "lower level" - but at the moment the reality seems that only the outside major powers serving as mediators are interested in pushing Hamas and Israel to the table, while the warring parties themselves aren't interested

Negotiations in Cairo over a possible agreement to pause the fighting in Gaza have been extended for another three days, according to an Egyptian official briefed on the talks, after a first day of high-level negotiations on Tuesday ended without an agreement.

The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive negotiations, said the tenor of the talks was positive.

The talks over the next three days will involve lower-level officials, who will continue discussing a new framework for a deal, one that would ensure a certain number of hostages would be released and that the fighting would be halted for a certain number of weeks, a U.S. official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss diplomatic talks.

In the meantime, the assault on the southern city of Rafah, packed with some one million refugees, continues to escalate:


NYT has summarized late-breaking developments Wednesday as follows:

  • Cease-fire talks in Cairo will go on at a lower level, a U.S. official says.
  • Fear of ‘a slaughter’ in Rafah build as negotiators race for a deal.
  • A Hezbollah attack injures 2 Israelis as a push to reduce tensions intensifies.
  • France imposes sanctions on West Bank settlers, joining the U.S. and Britain.
  • South Africa asks the U.N.’s top court to act against Israel’s plans for Rafah.
  • Israel orders an evacuation of the largest hospital in Khan Younis.
  • A U.S. aid bill for Israel and Ukraine faces Republican opposition in the House.

The CIA's William Burns is in Cairo representing the US, and he met Tuesday with Mossad's Barnea as well as President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Qatar has continued to serve as indirect representative for Hamas.