July 6, 2024 | Flash Brief

Hamas Drops Key Demand for Hostage Talks

July 6, 2024 | Flash Brief

Hamas Drops Key Demand for Hostage Talks

Latest Developments

Israel and Hamas are expected to resume mediated negotiations over the hostages’ release after the Palestinian terrorist group dropped its demand for an a priori commitment to end the Gaza War, according to reporting on July 6. Israeli negotiators will restart talks with Qatari and Egyptian mediators, Jerusalem said, after Doha reassured senior envoys of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the new Hamas position.

Previously, Hamas had insisted that moving from an initial, proposed truce — under which some hostages would go free — into a second stage of negotiations over other hostages and a more protracted calm in Gaza must be accompanied by an internationally guaranteed Israeli undertaking to stop the nearly nine-month-old offensive. Hamas and Israel said that this demand has now been dropped, giving both sides a degree of latitude over the terms of the second stage. Israeli sources voiced cautious optimism over the prospects for the new negotiations. Even if successful, the sources said negotiations could take weeks.

Expert Analysis

“It would appear that Israel’s storming of that last Hamas bastion in Rafah has left the terrorist group gasping for a diplomatic reprieve and that this will translate into freedom for some of the remaining 120 hostages. How and when the other hostages will come home may come down to the degree to which Qatar, Egypt, and the United States close ranks with the Israelis such that Hamas realizes it has lost this war.” — Mark Dubowitz, FDD CEO

“The clearer Hamas’s capitulation becomes to Palestinians and the wider Arab world, the greater its motivation will be to prove that its ‘resistance’ has not died. The United States and Israel must be on alert for Hamas attacks in Israel, the West Bank, or even abroad that are timed to offset any truce that may come about in Gaza.” — Joe Truzman, Senior Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

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