Hamas said to have rejected ceasefire proposal

Hamas said to have rejected ceasefire proposal

The terror group claims the proposal is not the same as that outlined by President Biden, and does not require an end to the war and withdrawal of Israeli forces.

Hamas has rejected the Israeli hostage-ceasefire deal, claiming that it is fundamentally different than the one presented by U.S. President Joe Biden on May 31, the Saudi daily Asharq al-Awsat reported on Thursday.

The Gaza-based terror group sent a clarification memorandum to the Palestinian terror factions on Wednesday, the text of which was seen by the news outlet. It claims that the current proposal “does not promise a permanent ceasefire, the occupation’s forces will remain in Gaza, and when they receive the hostages, they will renew the destruction against our nation.”

Hamas is demanding an end to the war and the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Strip, two conditions Jerusalem rejects. The Israeli War Cabinet’s goals remain the same: returning the hostages, defeating Hamas as a military and political force in Gaza and ensuring that Gaza can never again threaten Israel. Hamas has pledged multiple repeats of its Oct. 7 atrocities.

Hamas spokesman Jihad Taha confirmed to the Qatari news outlet Al-Araby Al-Jadeed the terrorist group’s demands for a permanent ceasefire and a comprehensive Israeli withdrawal.

Israeli ground troops operating in the Rafah area of southern Gaza on June 1, 2024. Credit: IDF (source: JNS)

Qatar’s foreign ministry said on Tuesday that it had handed Biden’s three-phase ceasefire proposal to Hamas, and that the document is “much closer” to the positions of both sides.

The War Cabinet decided on Wednesday not to send a delegation to Qatar until Hamas answers the Israeli proposal.

Al-Araby Al-Jadeed reported on Thursday that discussions have started in Cairo between senior Egyptian officials and Palestinian terror factions on the day after the war in Gaza. At the same time, a delegation of Egyptian intelligence officials arrived in Ramallah to meet with senior Palestinian Authority officials about a potential role they could play in post-war Gaza.

A U.S. official in Cairo told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that “the American administration has finally settled on the need for the next day’s talks to stop the war to go in parallel with the ceasefire negotiations,” stressing that CIA Director William Burns and U.S. Middle East adviser Brett McGurk are visiting the region this week for that purpose.

U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said on Tuesday “the ball is in Hamas’s court.”

“We are waiting for a response from Hamas,” said Sullivan. He acknowledged that the terror group in Gaza might well choose to continue the conflict instead.

“That wouldn’t be terribly out of character for a vicious and brutal terror group, but what we hope they do in the end is see that the best pathway to an end to this war, the return of all the hostages, a surge of humanitarian assistance, is to accept this proposal,” he added.

“The onus is on Hamas and will remain on Hamas until we get a formal response from them,” said Sullivan.

The Biden envoy also clarified that Israel had accepted the deal when a reporter suggested otherwise.

“I take issue with the end of your question when you said Israel rejected the proposal,” said Sullivan. “The prime minister’s own adviser went out publicly and said they accepted the proposal. They have reaffirmed that they have accepted the proposal…[it] is a proposal Israel accepted before and continues to accept today. The ball is in Hamas’s court,” he added.

In an interview with Time magazine published on Tuesday, Biden said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was under “enormous pressure” to forge a ceasefire deal with Hamas.

Tens of thousands of marchers in London called for the release of the hostages held by Hamas in Gaza London UK June 2 2024 Source XDanielaGrudsky Source JNS

“The last offer Israel made was very generous in terms of who [Palestinian prisoners] they’d be willing to release, what they’d give in return, et cetera. Bibi [Netanyahu] is under enormous pressure on the hostages…and so he’s prepared to do about anything to get the hostages back,” said Biden.

Freeing the hostages is the main reason the White House is pushing for a ceasefire, Biden said.

On Thursday, The Hostages Families Forum released a statement calling for additional pressure to be applied on Hamas to agree to the deal.

“After eight months, the Israeli government has proposed a deal, with support from the international community. A deal that aims to bring all the hostages home—the living for rehabilitation and the murdered for burial,” the statement reads.

“The recent tragic news of the murder of four hostages—Chaim, Yoram, Amiram and Nadav—who were kidnapped alive, highlights the urgent need for an immediate resolution. Their deaths serve as a reminder that each day in captivity puts the lives of the remaining hostages at grave risk.

“The negotiating parties have a moral and ethical obligation, supported by the mediators and the international community, to apply the necessary pressure on Hamas to accept the proposed deal. Negotiating teams must convene immediately to bridge any gaps and finalize the agreement without delay.”

The post Hamas said to have rejected ceasefire proposal appeared first on Israel365 News.

Israel in the News