Israel Outlines Four Principles for Hostage Deal with Hamas

The office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced four principles that it says must be part of any hostage release deal with the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas. 

The declaration comes as the “Prime Minister’s steadfast position against the attempt to halt IDF action in Rafah is what has led Hamas to enter negotiations,” the office says. The city in the southern Gaza Strip has been described as Hamas’ last stronghold following months of fighting in the war-torn territory. 

The principles are: 

Israel’s military campaign against Hamas will not end until the Palestinian terrorist group is eliminated. 


Netanyahu, who has repeatedly said that “Israel has no intention of permanently occupying Gaza or displacing its civilian population,” also emphasized that a post-war Gaza must be demilitarized and deradicalized. 

“Our goal is to rid Gaza of Hamas terrorists and free our hostages. Once this is achieved, Gaza can be demilitarized and deradicalized, thereby creating a possibility for a better future for Israel and Palestinians alike,” Netanyahu said in a recent statement. 

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) released video footage in June showing tunnels allegedly used by Hamas to smuggle weapons into Gaza from Egypt, according to The Associated Press. 

At least 20 tunnels crossing from Egypt into Gaza have been detected, the outlet reported.


Throughout the nine-month war, Israeli troops have discovered a labyrinth of tunnels throughout the Gaza Strip that are integral to Hamas’ movements and military operations. 

The prime minister’s office is vowing that armed terrorists should not be allowed to return to the northern Gaza Strip in its vision for a post-war Gaza. 

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) has reported that “up to 1.9 million people in Gaza are internally displaced, including people who have been displaced nine or 10 times.  

“Previous estimations were 1.7 million but this was before the operation in Rafah, and since May there have been additional displacements from Rafah and other parts across the Gaza Strip,” the agency added. 

Approximately 116 hostages are still believed to be held by Hamas since the beginning of the war last Oct. 7. 

Over the past nine months, 109 hostages have been released, seven have been rescued by the IDF, and the remains of 14 Israeli soldiers have been recovered by the military from Gaza, including three who were mistakenly killed by troops.

’ Yonat Friling and Michael Dorgan contributed to this report.