Netanyahu Rejects Gaza Truce Talks, Shuts Down Al Jazeera's Israel Office

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has shut down talks of ceasefire negotiations, citing an unwillingness to comply with Hamas's conditions for ending the conflict in Gaza.

May 6, 2024 - 09:15
Netanyahu Rejects Gaza Truce Talks, Shuts Down Al Jazeera's Israel Office
  1. Despite the absence of an Israeli delegation in Cairo, Netanyahu asserted Israel's position, stating that his country "cannot accept" Hamas's demands. "We are not prepared to accept a situation in which the Hamas brigades come out of their bunkers, take control of Gaza again, rebuild their military infrastructure, and return to threatening the citizens of Israel in the settlements surrounding the southern mountains, in all parts of the country," he said. 
  2. Netanyahu's remarks came during a Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony in Jerusalem, where he decried international criticism and a rise in anti-Semitism surrounding Israel's defensive actions in Gaza. "If Israel is forced to stand alone, Israel will stand alone," Netanyahu said.
  3. "No nation came to our aid," he added. "Today, we again confront enemies bent on our destruction. I say to the leaders of the world, no amount of pressure, no decision by any international forum, will stop Israel from defending itself."
  4. Gaza's deadliest conflict erupted after Hamas launched an assault on Israel, resulting in over 1,170 casualties, primarily civilians. Israel's retaliatory campaign has claimed the lives of at least 34,683 individuals in Gaza, predominantly women and children, according to the health ministry of the Hamas-controlled territory.
  5. The Israeli military reported that an onslaught of rockets launched earlier on Sunday from the blockaded Gaza Strip towards the Kerem Shalom border crossing resulted in the deaths of three soldiers and injuries to a dozen more. According to the military, three of those wounded were in critical condition.
  6. Hamas has claimed responsibility for the rocket attack, prompting Israeli authorities to close the crossing used for delivering aid into Gaza. According to the Israeli military, 14 rockets were fired at the crossing from an area near the Rafah crossing.
  7. Hamas said on Sunday that the group's delegation for Gaza ceasefire discussions in Cairo was departing for "consultations" in Qatar despite Netanyahu saying that complying with demands to cease the war would equate to surrender. In response, Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas's political leader based in Qatar, accused Netanyahu of undermining the negotiations.
  8. CIA director Bill Burns is also headed to Doha for "emergency" talks on mediation efforts with Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani.
  9. On Sunday, Netanyahu announced a government decision to shut down the operations of Al Jazeera, a Qatar-based news channel that has been providing continuous coverage of the conflict. Shortly after the announcement, the channel ceased broadcasting. Al Jazeera denounced Israel's action as a "criminal act" and pledged to pursue legal recourse.
  10. Netanyahu has pledged to launch an invasion of Rafah regardless of any ceasefire agreement, despite reservations from the United States, other nations, and humanitarian organisations.
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