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Israel-Gaza live updates: Israel will not agree to end war with Hamas as part of any deal

An Israeli official responded to the Biden administration’s opposition to a military ground operation in Rafah by saying “we don’t all agree with each other, but we managed to overcome the differences.”

The official added that “Israel is a sovereign country acting in accordance with its critical national interests.”

-Tom Soufi Burridge of ABC News

An Israeli official has told ABC News that Israel will not agree to end the war as part of a possible deal.

“Under no circumstances will Israel agree to end the war as part of an agreement to release our abductees,” an Israeli official told ABC News on Saturday morning.

“As the political echelon has decided, the IDF will invade Rafah and destroy the remaining Hamas battalions there – regardless of whether there is a temporary ceasefire for the release of our hostages.”

The US has increased diplomatic pressure on Qatar in recent weeks to expel Hamas leaders from the country, an official familiar with the matter told ABC News.

The development comes as Qatar and other intermediaries between the US and Hamas have struggled to effectively negotiate a ceasefire deal with the group, repeatedly expressing confidence that the group will accept certain terms that Hamas leaders reject later.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken emphasized in the days following the October 7 attacks that the Middle East could not continue to do “business as usual” with Hamas.

-Shannon Crawford of ABC News

A Hamas delegation will return to Egypt on Saturday to continue ceasefire negotiations with Israel.

The group released a statement saying the leadership was in a “positive spirit” in response to the ceasefire proposal it offered.

“We will go to Cairo in the same spirit to reach an agreement,” the group said in a statement.

“We in (the) Hamas movement and the Palestinian resistance forces are determined to mature the agreement in a manner that meets the demands of our people for a complete cessation of aggression, the withdrawal of the occupying forces, the return of the displaced, relief for our people, the beginning of reconstruction and the completion of a serious barter agreement.”
-ABC News’ Dia Ostaz