*** ----> Netanyahu ‘strongly opposes’ ending war in Gaza as fighting intensifies | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Netanyahu ‘strongly opposes’ ending war in Gaza as fighting intensifies

AFP | Rafah

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said yesterday he “strongly opposes” ending the war in Gaza, ahead of his war cabinet convening amid intense diplomacy to forge a truce and hostage release deal.

Meanwhile, deadly fighting rocked the Gaza Strip and Hamas fighters fired a salvo of rockets at Israel’s commercial hub Tel Aviv for the first time in months, sending people scrambling for shelter.

Netanyahu has long rejected Hamas’s demand in negotiations for a permanent end to the fighting, which was triggered by the Palestinian group’s October 7 attack and has left vast areas of besieged Gaza in ruins.

A senior Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, had earlier told AFP that “the war cabinet is expected to meet... tonight at 9 pm (1800 GMT) to discuss a hostage release deal”. A statement issued by Netanyahu’s office before the meeting said Hamas chief in Gaza Yahya “Sinwar continues to demand the end of the war, the withdrawal of the IDF (army) from the Gaza Strip and leaving Hamas in place, so that it will be able to carry out the atrocities of October 7 again and again”, referring to the attack that triggered the war.

“Prime Minister Netanyahu strongly opposes this,” the statement said. A member of Hamas’s political leadership, Izzat al-Rishq, accused Netanyahu earlier yesterday of “trying to buy more time to continue the aggression”.

Interest In Brussels, the European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told journalists before meeting Palestinian premier Mohammed Mustafa that a strong Palestinian Authority (PA) was in Israel’s interest. EU members Ireland and Spain, and also Norway, have said they will recognise the State of Palestine from Tuesday, drawing furious Israeli condemnation.

“A functional Palestinian Authority is in Israel’s interest too, because in order to make peace, we need a strong Palestinian Authority, not a weaker one,” Borrell said.