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Israel will not surrender or withdraw IDF troops from Gaza Strip: Netanyahu on Hamas' ceasefire deal

Tel Aviv [Israel]: As Hamas indicated a comprehensive ceasefire as part of a hostage release deal, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in no uncertain terms that Israel will not accept an end to the campaign and the withdrawal of IDF troops from the Gaza Strip, reported Times of Israel.

Amid swirling rumours over the weekend of international pressure on Israel to agree to an effective end to the war in Gaza as part of a hostage release deal, Netanyahu said that Israel is not ready to accept a situation in which Hamas troops come out and take control of Gaza again.

"Israel cannot accept this," he said. "We are not ready to accept a situation in which the Hamas battalions come out of their bunkers, take control of Gaza again, rebuild their military infrastructure, and return to threatening the citizens of Israel in the surrounding communities, in the cities of the south, in all parts of the country," he added.

Further, Netanyahu said that Israel will not agree to Hamas's demands "which mean surrender, and will continue the fighting until all its goals are achieved."

Additionally, he stated that accepting Hamas' demands would only bring the next conflict closer and would allow Hamas to carry out another massacre in the future, Times of Israel reported.

Meanwhile, he also stressed that Israel is still open to a deal, but Hamas "remains entrenched in its positions."

Moreover, senior officials from the US, Qatar, and Egypt are in Cairo, along with Hamas officials.

However, Netanyahu decided not to send a delegation at this stage, according to the Times of Israel.

Yesterday, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said that the terror group is eager to reach a comprehensive ceasefire that will end Israeli "aggression," guarantee Israel's withdrawal from Gaza, and achieve a deal that will see the release of hostages in exchange for Palestinian prisoners.

Haniyeh, in his statement, also blamed PM Netanyahu for "the continuation of the aggression and the expansion of the circle of conflict and sabotaging the efforts made through the mediators and various parties." 

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