Hamas Responds to Proposed Deal, Demands End to War; At Least 32 Hostages Dead

The Palestinian Hamas terrorist organization responded Tuesday to proposals to release at least some of the 136 Israeli hostages still in captivity in exchange for a pause in fighting, demanding an end to the war and the release of more Palestinian terrorists.

Hamas is negotiating with Israel through Egypt and Qatar as intermediaries, with the U.S. playing a role in guiding proposals.

The U.S. is known to favor a temporary ceasefire that can be made permanent — a position oddly close to that of Hamas.

Though the precise details of Hamas’s reply were not yet known as of Tuesday evening, the Times of Israel reported that Hamas was demanding a permanent ceasefire — a demand Israel has rejected, though the Biden administration also wants the war over.

The Jewish News Syndicate reported that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) had reported, and the Hostage and Missing Families Forum had confirmed, that at least 31 of the 132 hostages were known to be dead, either because they were murdered in the October 7 terror attack, or because they died in Hamas custody. It is possible that up to 20 of the other hostages may also be dead.

Israel saw 110 hostages released — mostly elderly women, children, and mothers — during a one-week truce in November that Hamas broke.

There is mounting pressure within Israel for the government to strike a deal, even at a heavy price. At the same time, there are also protests against a deal, and against the transfer of humanitarian aid from Israel to Gaza. Dozens of families of hostages have attempted to block aid trucks from entering Gaza from Israel over the past two weeks, with occasional success.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent book, “The Zionist Conspiracy (and how to join it),” now available on Audible. He is also the author of the e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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