Netanyahu denies reaching prisoner swap deal with Hamas

Israeli media say agreement reached on temporary cease-fire between Israel and Hamas

Netanyahu on Monday denied reports about reaching a prisoner swap deal with Hamas.

Israeli media outlets suggested earlier that an agreement on a temporary cease-fire between Israel and Hamas was reached.

“The reports about a deal are not correct and include conditions that are not acceptable to Israel,” Netanyahu’s office said in a statement.

“We are continuing until total victory,” it added.

Israeli Channel 13 earlier reported that Tel Aviv agreed to a humanitarian deal that includes the release of women and elderly and injured people held by Hamas but does not include soldiers or youths held by the group.

Israel in return will release hundreds of Palestinian detainees from Israeli jails, including those convicted of killing Israelis, the report said.

According to the broadcaster, Israel will pause fighting for up to two months or more, without a commitment to end the war.

There was no comment yet from Hamas on Netanyahu’s statement.

Qatar on Monday cited progress in talks for a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip.

US National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby also described the ongoing talks as “constructive.” He maintained that while progress has been made, there is not a “deal that’s on the table and imminently ready to be announced.”

Hamas is believed to be holding nearly 136 Israelis following its cross-border attack on Oct. 7.

The Israeli offensive has left 85% of Gaza’s population internally displaced amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60% of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel launched a deadly offensive on the Gaza Strip since Oct. 7, killing at least 26,637 Palestinians and injuring 65,387. Nearly 1,200 Israelis are believed to have been killed in the Hamas attack.

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