Netanyahu denies reports of 'imminent' hostage deal

The Israeli PM said 'as of now' there was no deal with Hamas


Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Minister of Defense Yoav Galant, and Minister Benny Gantz hold a joint press conference at the Ministry of Defense, in Tel Aviv on November 11, 2023. Photo by Marc Israel Sellem/POOL *** Local Caption *** ????? ????? ???????? ?????? ???? ????? ???? ?????? ??? ???? ????? ?????

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has denied media reports that a hostage deal to free dozens of Israeli captives is 'imminent'.

Late Saturday, the Washington Post reported that "Israel and Hamas are close to an agreement on a U.S.-brokered deal that would free dozens of women and children held hostage in Gaza in exchange for a five-day pause in fighting."

The Post, citing Arab officials in Qatar and elsewhere said that the six-page deal stipulated that both sides would: “freeze combat operations for at least five days while an initial 50 or more" hostages would be released.

Hamas is believed to have taken some 240 Israelis hostage during its October 7 assault on southern Israel during which it murdered 1,200 people and wounded more than 5,000.

On Saturday night, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed “a lot of incorrect reports” regarding a deal during a lengthy joint press conference at the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv alongside Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and minister-without-portfolio in the War Cabinet Benny Gantz.

Questioned by the Israeli press on whether he was leaving a deal on the table, Netanyahu said that there was no serious proposal from Hamas.

He said: “We’re doing the utmost to bring back the most possible, including in stages, and we are united on this.”

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