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  • 1440 Daily Digest

Hostage-Release Negotiations

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday rejected a counterproposal from Hamas for a cease-fire and hostage-release plan, saying Israel would continue its military operations in Gaza until an "absolute victory" is reached against Hamas. Israel claims to have dismantled 18 of Hamas' 24 battalions so far and is preparing to move its forces into Rafah near Egypt's border, where hundreds of thousands of displaced Palestinians have been residing. 

Hamas reportedly proposed a three-phase plan over a 135-day pause in fighting that included a full withdrawal of Israeli forces in Gaza, exchanging hostages for Palestinian prisoners, increasing deliveries of food and aid, rebuilding the enclave, and ending the war. Hamas' proposal came in response to a plan from the US, Israel, Qatar, and Egypt, for which details are sparse. Roughly 136 of the previously kidnapped 240 hostages are still being held by Hamas; Israel believes at least 31 of the remaining hostages are no longer alive

Separately, a US drone strike in Iraq killed a senior commander of the Iran-backed group Kataib Hezbollah, who is believed to be behind a deadly attack on a US base in Jordan. See war updates here.

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