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    Four hostages killed in Hamas captivity


    Four more hostages are said to have been killed in Hamas captivity. The USA presents a draft for a Gaza deal, but Israel is sticking to its conditions. The news at a glance.

    According to Israeli information, four hostages kidnapped by the Islamist terrorist organization Hamas have been killed in captivity. Israeli army spokesman Daniel Hagari said the four men died several months ago in Khan Yunis in the south of the Gaza Strip. The exact circumstances were initially unclear.

    In December, Hamas released a video showing three of the older men. In March, Hamas announced that they had been killed in Israeli attacks. The information cannot be independently verified. It is feared that a large proportion of the 124 hostages still being held in the Gaza Strip are no longer alive.

    The US is maintaining pressure on its ally Israel after an offer to negotiate a settlement of the Gaza war. “We have every expectation that Israel would say yes if Hamas agrees to the proposal that was sent to them as an Israeli proposal,” National Security Council Communications Director John Kirby told ABC News.

    US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also indirectly took Israel to task. In a conversation with Israeli Defense Minister Joav Galant, Blinken praised Israel's willingness to conclude an agreement, his spokesman said.

    US President Biden surprisingly presented details of a draft Gaza deal to which Israel had agreed. However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was quick to clarify that his country's conditions for an end to the war had not changed: the destruction of the Islamist Hamas and the release of all hostages.

    Israel's war cabinet discusses negotiation offer

    US officials were encouraged that Netanyahu did not reject Biden's speech or deny that it reflected an Israeli proposal made to Hamas a few days ago, reported the US news portal Axios. According to the report, the White House had informed Netanyahu's office about two hours in advance that Biden would make details of the offer public in the speech.

    Netanyahu's right-wing coalition partners promptly threatened to collapse the coalition if Israel agreed to the deal. Opposition leader Yair Lapid warned on Platform X that if Israel were to withdraw the offer it had already accepted, it would be a “death sentence” for the hostages and a crisis of confidence in the Americans and the mediating countries. Against the backdrop of this confusion, Israel's war cabinet met to discuss the proposal made public by Biden.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has commented on the latest US push to end the Gaza war. “The claim that we have agreed to a ceasefire without our conditions being met is not correct,” Netanyahu told members of a parliamentary committee on foreign and security policy, according to his office.

    Netanyahu made it clear that Israel's conditions for ending the war had not changed: the destruction of Hamas and the release of all hostages.

    In a video message, Netanyahu said: “We are working in countless ways to bring our hostages back. I am always thinking of them, their families, their suffering.” The destruction of Hamas remains the goal, parallel to the efforts to bring them back.

    The G7 group has backed the plan for a Gaza agreement announced by US President Joe Biden. The heads of state and government of the seven major western industrial nations “fully” supported the agreement presented by Biden to end the Gaza war because it would lead to a permanent end to the crisis, according to a statement published by the Italian G7 presidency. Such a deal would ensure both Israel's security interests and the safety of the civilian population of the contested Gaza Strip.

    The G7 leaders called on the Islamist Hamas to accept the agreement with Israel. Countries with influence over Hamas should help to ensure that it agrees to the agreement, the joint statement continued. At the same time, the G7 group reiterated its support for a credible path to peace that should ultimately lead to a two-state solution.

    Eight months after the Hamas massacre, the remains of a 35-year-old German-Israeli have been identified. The Israeli army announced that the medic's body had been found in the Nir Oz kibbutz. His identity had been confirmed with the help of forensic and anthropological experts. Until now, it had been assumed that the man was being held hostage in the Gaza Strip. According to the Jewish organization European Jewish Association, the 35-year-old was also a German citizen – as was his sister who had been kidnapped in the Gaza Strip.

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