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Israel-Hamas war latest: US withholds ammunition shipment destined for Israel



Prospects for a Gaza ceasefire appear slim as Hamas reiterated its demand for an end to the war in exchange for the freeing of hostages, while Benjamin Netanyahu has flatly ruled that out.

In their second day of truce talks in Cairo with Egyptian and Qatari mediators in Cairo, Hamas negotiators maintained their stance that any truce agreement must end the war, Palestinian officials said.

Israeli officials have not traveled to Cairo to take part in indirect diplomacy, but on Mr Netanyahu reiterated Israel’s aim since the start of the war nearly seven months ago: to disarm and dismantle the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas for good or else endanger Israel’s future security.

The prime minister said Israel was willing to pause fighting in Gaza in order to secure the release of hostages still being held by Hamas, believed to number more than 130.

“But while Israel has shown willingness, Hamas remains entrenched in its extreme positions, first among them the demand to remove all our forces from the Gaza Strip, end the war, and leave Hamas in power,” Mr Netanyahu said. “Israel cannot accept that.”

In a statement released shortly after Netanyahu’s, Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh said the group is still keen on reaching a comprehensive ceasefire that ends the Israeli “aggression”, guarantees Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza, and achieves “a serious” deal to free Israelis being held hostage in exchange for the release of Palestinian prisoners.

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