Israeli media: Netanyahu tells Blinken he won't end war on Hamas

An Israeli media outlet has reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told visiting US Secretary of State Antony Blinken he cannot accept an agreement to end the war in Gaza as part of a hostage deal.

Israel and the Islamic group Hamas continue their negotiations for a ceasefire in Gaza and the release of the remaining hostages seized by the group last year.

The two sides have been engaging in talks mediated by Egypt and other parties.

Against this backdrop, Blinken met with Netanyahu on Wednesday in Jerusalem.

A US State Department press release said, "The Secretary discussed ongoing efforts to reach an immediate ceasefire in Gaza as part of a hostage deal and emphasized that it is Hamas that is standing in the way of a ceasefire."

Meanwhile, The Times of Israel quoted an Israeli official who said Netanyahu told Blinken that he would not accept an end to the war in Gaza as part of a potential hostage deal.

The prime minister reportedly also told Blinken that a hostage deal with Hamas does not mean an invasion of Rafah would be avoided.

Media reported the ongoing negotiations would see 33 hostages released in the first stage of the ceasefire deal in exchange for the release of several hundred Palestinian prisoners in Israel.

Netanyahu's latest remarks conflict with the stance of Hamas, which is seeking a complete ceasefire in response to the release of all Israeli hostages.