The Palestinian terrorist group Hamas has declared the suspension of hostage negotiations with Israel, demanding a cessation of hostilities before any further talks can take place. However, Israel, in its pursuit of Hamas leaders in Gaza, has flatly rejected this demand.

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According to a statement released by Hamas, the group stated unequivocally that it will not agree to release any hostages or engage in negotiations until the fighting comes to an end. This stance is not new and has been employed by the militant organization in the past. The announcement comes amidst ongoing discussions regarding a potential agreement that would secure the release of hostages in exchange for Palestinian detainees held in Israeli prisons. Hamas has already explicitly dismissed the possibility of a temporary ceasefire.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, addressing the situation on Wednesday, made it clear that Israel would continue its offensive against Hamas, aiming to “eliminate” the group, even if negotiations were to proceed. The urgency for negotiations heightened following the tragic deaths of three Israeli hostages who tragically lost their lives after managing to escape their Hamas captors. Unfortunately, Israeli soldiers mistook them from a distance for terrorists.

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Seizing the opportunity, both Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, another Iranian-backed group, have been attempting to exploit the situation to press for a permanent ceasefire as a prerequisite for any negotiations. However, despite some support for talks to secure the release of the hostages, the Israeli public remains steadfastly committed to continuing the fight against Hamas.

Amidst these developments, Palestinian rocket attacks persistently target Israel. Most recently, a barrage of rockets originating from a Hamas-controlled area in central Gaza was launched towards Tel Aviv and central Israel on Thursday, though luckily no injuries were reported.

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