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Israel Rejects Hamas' "Delusional" Demands for Hostage Deal

In an exclusive interview with CNN on Saturday, Israel's Coordinator for the Captives and the Missing, Gal Hirsch, dismissed Hamas' demands for a hostage deal as "delusional" and urged them to come closer to reality. The remarks came amidst ongoing negotiations between Israel and Hamas to secure the release of hostages held by the Palestinian militant group.

"We want a deal very much, and we know we need to pay prices. But Hamas’ demands are disconnected from reality — delusional," stated Hirsch, a former Israel Defense Forces commander, during the interview with CNN's Alex Marquardt at the Munich Security Conference in Germany.

Hamas' proposed ceasefire and hostage deal outlined a three-stage process over four-and-a-half months. This plan included a gradual withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza, the release of hostages, and the freedom of Palestinian prisoners held in Israel. However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu swiftly rejected this proposal, labeling it as "delusional."

Netanyahu has consistently emphasized that the conflict in Gaza will persist until Israel dismantles the leadership of Hamas and secures the safe return of the hostages.

Despite ongoing negotiations, several sticking points have emerged. CNN previously reported concerns from US officials regarding Netanyahu's commitment to reaching a hostage deal, particularly due to opposition within his government to any compromise with Hamas.

The situation remains tense as both sides navigate the complexities of the negotiations, with Israel standing firm on its stance against what it perceives as unrealistic demands from Hamas.

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