Israel Pulls Out of Hostage Negotiations Following UN Resolution

( – Israel has pulled out of hostage negotiations in Qatar after a United Nations Security Council resolution called for an unconditional cease-fire. In response to the resolution, Hamas increased their demands that a cease-fire come before any hostage releases.

The UN Security Council’s Resolution 2728 passed with the U.S. abstaining from the vote. China and Russia both supported the resolution, which requested that Hamas release Israeli hostages, but did not make this a prerequisite for a cease-fire. The previous draft resolution introduced by the U.S. that China and Russia vetoed proposed this conditional cease-fire.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that Hamas was not interested in negotiations and said Israel would not submit to the “delusional demands” of Hamas, which is still designated a terrorist organization by both the U.S. and the EU. Netanyahu has firmly rejected the U.S. push for a Palestinian state. He accused the ally of attempting to impose measures that would threaten Israeli security as the relationship between Israel and the U.S. becomes increasingly strained due to the country’s handling of the conflict.

Israel criticized the U.S. for allowing the resolution to pass, and the UK’s Foreign Secretary, Lord Cameron, has also been challenged over the UK being one out of the 14 of 15 states that passed the resolution. In response to criticism from four Conservative MPs, Cameron stressed that the UK’s position had not changed and that it still expected the release of hostages before the initiation of a long-term ceasefire.

The White House has made clear its opposition to the planned Israeli attack on the last Hamas stronghold in Rafah, raising concerns about the civilian casualties that would result from an assault on the city. Netanyahu has canceled a meeting with the U.S. over its planned attack on Rafah, which prompted the White House to accuse the prime minister of overreacting.

The resolution also does not bode well for the stability of Netanyahu’s regime; protests have been ongoing for months in Tel Aviv, and protesters are demanding that Netanyahu call an election. Protesters are also calling on the prime minister to do more to secure the release of hostages held in Gaza. Hamas has praised the UN resolution and declared that it is sticking to its original demands that the cease-fire come before any hostage releases.

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