Hostage Crisis

Report: US didn't reveal details of hostage deal to Israel

Israeli officials are said to be "suspicious" that the US provided Hamas guarantees that the the IDF would withdraw from Gaza following a hostage return.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with United States President Joe Biden in Tel Aviv, October 18, 2023. (Photo: Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Barak Ravid reported last night (Monday) that US officials, including CIA chief Bill Burns, had advanced knowledge of the last-minute deal Hamas claimed to have accepted before Israeli troops began mounting an attack on Rafah this morning. According to the report, the Americans participated in the talks, but failed to update their Israeli counterparts. The publication states that Burns even spoke to Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant hours before the proposal was published but didn't disclose the deal to Gallant.

The Hamas deal was heralded by Israel as a "last minute ruse" to stave off the invasion of Rafah after previous offers had fallen through. The report also states that Israeli officials are "deeply suspicious" that Biden provided guarantees to Hamas that any deal would effectively end the war in Gaza and allow the terrorist organization to maintain power in the Strip. Israel said it felt "played" by the Americans.

A senior American diplomat denied the reports, however, saying that US diplomats are "engaged" with their Israeli counterparts and that "there are no surprises."

After receiving the deal last night, Israeli sources said that Hamas agreed to an Egyptian proposal unacceptable to the Jewish State.

"We don't treat the Hamas statement seriously - this is a far-reaching proposal on core issues," they said. "The Egyptians made all the (proposal's) parameters more flexible so Hamas would agree. This was done in a one-sided manner, and this proposal is unacceptable to Israel." According to the sources, "This is deception by Hamas with the aim of presenting Israel as the one refusing a deal."

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