Hamas says that Palestinian groups have rejected the prospect of further hostage releases until Israel
agrees to end the war in Gaza.
In an Arabic statement shared on Telegram, Hamas said: “There is a Palestinian national decision that
there should be no talk about prisoners or exchange deals except after a comprehensive cessation of
It is unclear which other Palestinian factions the statement refers to. Islamic Jihad, a smaller group in the
Gaza Strip, is also holding Israeli hostages.
Negotiations on bringing about a new truce in the war are currently taking place in Cairo, Egypt, though
initial talks on Wednesday bore no fruit, with Hamas reportedly saying it would not agree to another
temporary pause in fighting.
During a six-day ceasefire at the end of November, 105 Israeli hostages were released in exchange for
Palestinians held in jails. About 120 Israeli hostages are believed to still be in captivity.
Israel has repeatedly rejected a permanent ceasefire with Hamas, with national security minister Itamar
Ben Gvir saying in a post on X that stopping the Israeli forces before Hamas is defeated and all the
hostages are returned would constitute a “failure”.
Negotiations are continuing to try to secure a unanimous UN Security Council vote on a ceasefire in Gaza
— due later Thursday in New York.