Washington tensions: Israeli War Cabinet reverses decision amidst Hamas negotiations


Report by Amal Shehadeh, English adaptation by Yasmine Jaroudi

Israeli assessments regarding the possibility of reaching a deal with Hamas vary, with some insiders accusing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of obstructing any progress in negotiations.

The Israeli War Cabinet, currently discussing a proposed prisoner exchange deal, reversed its decision to recall the negotiating delegation from Cairo to Tel Aviv. Instead, the delegation shifted to Doha, describing the negotiations as challenging.

Opponents of Netanyahu claim that the proposal being discussed between Cairo and Doha does not bind Israel to a ceasefire as Netanyahu asserts. This position has been supported by security and military authorities warning of the consequences of negotiation failure on prisoners and relations with Washington.

Current efforts focus on solidifying Israel’s demand for the binding cessation of hostilities in the second phase rather than at the end of the first phase. Tel Aviv also rejects the return of Palestinian security prisoners or their non-return to their hometowns in the West Bank or Jerusalem.

Discussions revolve around approximately 600 prisoners, some serving life sentences, with expectations of imminent decisions against them.

According to Israelis, agreements can be reached on these items if Netanyahu desires. 

Meanwhile, the military insists on preventing Hamas from regaining control of the Rafah crossing, a matter that exacerbates tensions with Washington. 

Security agencies, along with the US, are exploring the possibility of managing it by non-Hamas Palestinian entities, potentially involving American or foreign presence.

Amidst these deliberations, Israel seeks to acquire more American weapons. 

Security officials, military personnel, and experts confirm that the Israeli army will not be able to sustain its fighting capacity in the south against Hamas and in the north against Hezbollah if Washington ceases its arms supply.

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