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Hamas Sends Conflicting Message Regarding Proposed Hostage Agreement

Israel-Hamas war (Credits: Al Jazeera)

As Israel and Hamas pass delicate negotiations, Hamas is carefully weighing its response to a proposed agreement brokered by Egypt and endorsed by Israel.

The deal, described as “extremely generous” by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, aims to address key issues between the two parties and facilitate a lasting ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. Sources familiar with the talks reveal that Hamas is grappling with unresolved points of contention.

Hamas said to reject Israeli offer for 7-day truce in Gaza (Credits: The Times of Israel)

These include demands for an unconditional cessation of hostilities, the release of Palestinian prisoners serving life sentences, and clarity on Gaza’s reconstruction, particularly regarding materials with potential military applications.

The timing and conditions for a permanent ceasefire are at the heart of the disagreement. Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar insists on a revised clause guaranteeing an immediate cessation of fighting without preconditions, a demand met with reluctance from Israel.

Hamas spurns latest hostage deal proposal (Credits: The Times of Israel)

Another sticking point is the release of Palestinian prisoners, especially those serving life terms. Sinwar opposes Israel’s condition that these prisoners not return to the West Bank, asserting their right to be resettled in their homeland.

Hamas seeks clarification on Gaza’s reconstruction, particularly regarding permitted materials and equipment. While the proposed agreement prohibits items usable for military purposes, such as those for tunnel construction, Sinwar demands clear guidelines to ensure essential reconstruction efforts are unimpeded.

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