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Hamas Suggests It Will Reject Recent Hostage Deal Proposal, But Affirms Talks Will Persist

Hamas is signaling rejection of latest hostage deal (Credits: The Times of Israel)

Hamas seems poised to reject the latest proposal for a hostage deal crafted by mediators and approved by Israel. Osama Hamdan, a Hamas official based in Lebanon, conveyed a negative stance on the current negotiation paper to the Hezbollah-affiliated Al-Manar TV, indicating a potential setback in the ongoing talks.

However, Hamas’s press office later clarified that while their position was negative, negotiations had not ceased entirely, suggesting a possibility for further discussion.

Hamas Leader Indicate Deal on Gaza Truce (Credits: Asharq Al-Awsat)

The proposed deal, which Israel had green-lit, involved the release of 33 female, elderly, and sick hostages in the initial stage.

However, Hamas deemed the offer insufficient, particularly regarding its failure to ensure an end to the conflict. According to an Arab diplomat, Hamas felt the proposal fell short of guaranteeing a ceasefire, instead suggesting talks during the first phase.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, during a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, asserted Israel’s intent to proceed with a serious military operation in Rafah, irrespective of the outcome of the hostage negotiations. This declaration underscored Israel’s position and possibly impacted the ongoing talks.

Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar (Credits: The Australian)

Despite Israel’s concessions in the proposed deal, Blinken reiterated the Biden administration’s stance that Hamas was impeding progress towards a resolution. He urged Hamas to accept the deal, emphasizing the need to alleviate the suffering in Gaza.

Meanwhile, concerns have arisen within Israel’s far-right coalition parties, who oppose the proposed deal, viewing it as capitulation to Hamas. They advocate for a more aggressive approach, including a military offensive in Rafah, to eliminate Hamas’s stronghold in Gaza.

The proposed deal, outlined in detail by a Lebanese news outlet, delineates a phased process involving the release of hostages, humanitarian aid, and negotiations for sustainable calm. However, Hamas’s reluctance to accept the current terms suggests that further negotiations or modifications may be necessary to achieve a resolution.

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