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'Sinwar is not interested' hostage deal, seeks regional escalation - Israeli intelligence

Hamas leader, Yahya Sinwar, speaks during a meeting with members of the the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, in Gaza City, April 30, 2022. (Photo: Attia Muhammed/Flash90)

Israel's intelligence agency, Mossad, reported its current assessment that the Hamas military leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, is not interested in a hostage deal.

Instead, the terror chief seeks a regional, Iranian-led escalation against Israel, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) announced on Sunday, following the unprecedented Iranian attack on the country overnight. Mossad operates and reports directly to the PMO.

“The rejection of the proposal by the three mediators, which included significant flexibility on Israel’s part, proves that Sinwar is not interested in a humanitarian deal and in the return of the hostages,” the PMO stated.

“It [Hamas] continues to exploit tensions with Iran and seeks... escalation in the region.”

When Hamas launched its aggression against Israel on Oct. 7, it openly called for a regional war against Israel. While Iran’s terrorist proxy in Lebanon, Hezbollah, has been launching attacks on northern Israel on a near-daily basis since Oct. 8, it has not improved Hamas’ position versus Israel in Gaza. Some believe Hamas hopes last night’s massive drone and missile attack will activate the entire Iranian-led, Middle East terror network against Israel.

Hamas justified its rejection of a new hostage agreement in an official statement last Tuesday:

“The movement (Hamas) is interested in reaching an agreement that puts an end to the aggression on our people. Despite that, the Israeli position remains intransigent and it didn't meet any of the demands of our people and our resistance.”

Despite the lack of progress in the negotiations, the PMO stressed that Israel remains undeterred in its double-pronged mission.

“Israel will continue to forcefully pursue the fulfillment of the goals of the war against Hamas and will turn every stone to return the 133 hostages from Gaza as soon as possible.”

As the war in Gaza reaches over six months in duration, there is increasing speculation in Israel, the U.S., and internationally about how many hostages remain alive in Hamas captivity.

While the IDF has confirmed the death of at least 34 out of the remaining 133 hostages, “Israeli and American officials estimate privately that the number of deaths could be much higher,” the Wall Street Journal reported.

Israel has demanded the release of at least 40 surviving hostages as part of the first phase of a potential hostage release deal. stage. The initial focus would reportedly be on the most vulnerable hostages, specifically women, children, the elderly and those who are ill.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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