Netanyahu rejected Hamas’ conditions and pledged to continue the military campaign (Reuters)

The War Council in Israel meets - on Saturday evening - after the delegation returns from talks in Paris, to discuss the release of detainees held by resistance factions in Gaza, and a ceasefire agreement in the war on the Gaza Strip.

Security advisor Tzachi Hanegbi says that members of the war council “will meet this evening by telephone” to hear an update on discussions related to the war in the Gaza Strip.

On Friday, talks began in the French capital with the participation of the head of the Israeli Foreign Intelligence Service (Mossad), David Barnea, the head of the CIA, William Burns, the Prime Minister of Qatar and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani, and the head of Egyptian Intelligence, Abbas Kamel, in an attempt to reach a deal. For the exchange of prisoners between Israel and the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas).

Hanegbi stated during an interview with N12 news channel that there is likely room to “move forward towards an agreement,” without giving further details.

Israel insists on releasing all the prisoners who were detained in the attacks of last October 7, but Hanegbi pointed out that "an agreement like this does not mean the end of the war."

Tel Aviv estimates that there are about 134 Israeli prisoners in Gaza, while it holds at least 8,800 Palestinians in its prisons, according to official sources from both parties.

Rafah invasion

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had rejected Hamas's conditions, pledging to continue the military campaign until "complete victory" was achieved.

In a statement, Netanyahu said that Saturday's meeting would discuss "the next steps in the negotiations."

He also reiterated the need for his forces to launch an attack on Rafah, south of Gaza, despite major fears of its repercussions on hundreds of thousands of civilians who fled there to escape the battles in the rest of the Strip.

Netanyahu added that after the Paris negotiations, “at the beginning of the week, I will gather the Council of Ministers to approve operational plans in Rafah, including the evacuation of the civilian population,” at a time when the United Nations is warning of a humanitarian catastrophe in the city.

He also announced that he is in the process of approving "operational plans" next week regarding Rafah Governorate, and said, "We are working on obtaining another plan to release the prisoners detained in Gaza, as well as completing the elimination of Hamas forces in Rafah."

On Saturday, Israeli Chief of Staff Herzi Halevy toured the Gaza Strip and stressed that military action is the only effective way to recover the hostages.

Source: Al Jazeera + agencies