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Israel Warns Hamas: Accept Hostage Deal, Or We’ll Enter Rafah

Israel warned Hamas it will carry out a major military operation unless the terrorist group accepts a deal on the table for the release of some, but not all, of the remaining 133 hostages.

“If there is a deal, we will suspend the operation,” Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz told Israeli media as the IDF continued its preparations for the operation and Egypt renewed its push to secure a hostage deal after weeks in which it seemed that such efforts had hit a dead end.

“The release of the hostages is a deep priority for us,” Katz stressed. He spoke after an Egyptian delegation was in Israel on Friday, April 26, for talks with Israel on the possibility of a new deal.

“If there is an option to make a deal, we will do it,” he said, although he stressed that this would not impact the overall goal of the war, which was to destroy Hamas. Israeli officials told their Egyptian counterparts on Friday that Israel is ready to give hostage negotiations “one last chance” to reach a deal with Hamas before moving forward with an invasion of Rafah.

Hamas said it had received on Saturday Israel’s official response to its latest ceasefire proposal and will study it before submitting its reply, the group’s deputy Gaza chief said in a statement. To increase pressure on Israel to make a deal, the terrorist group released on Saturday a video showing Keith Siegel (64) and Omri Miran (47) speaking. As a sign that the video was taken recently, they mentioned the Passover holiday.

On Saturday night, Omri’s father, Dan, addressed the rally at Hostage Square, in which protestors demanded that Israel make an agreement, telling the crowd, “I hope a deal will really happen now.” (JPost / VFI News)

“Our Heavenly Father, we pray for an immediate resolution of the dire situation with our hostages in Yeshua’s name. We trust that You are always near Your children and that You will deliver all the hostages back to their loving families. May You comfort all of them during this period of trials and may You help our country reach long-lasting peace and become devoid of terrorism.”

The articles included in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of Vision for Israel. We try to provide accurate reporting on news pertinent to Israel, the Middle-East, the diaspora, and Jewish issues around the world—and we hope that you find it both informative and useful for intercessory prayer.