Netanyahu rejects Hamas cease-fire proposal; U.S. strike kills militia leader in Iraq, officials say

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected a new Hamas proposal for a three-stage cease-fire deal in a news conference Wednesday, calling the militant group’s demands “delusional.” The prime minister’s remarks came shortly after his meeting with Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who has pursued a possible deal to release the Israeli hostages in a diplomatic blitz across the Middle East. Hamas officials confirmed Wednesday that the group’s latest response to a cease-fire proposal included hostage releases in three phrases, an initial 45-day pause in fighting and the complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza.

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