Hamas sticks to key demands in Gaza including permanent ceasefire after Cairo talks



Thu, 04 Apr 2024 - 03:20 GMT


Thu, 04 Apr 2024 - 03:20 GMT

A file photo shows destruction in Gaza due to the Israeli war that started on October 7 - WAFA

A file photo shows destruction in Gaza due to the Israeli war that started on October 7 - WAFA

CAIRO – April 4, 2024: Senior Hamas official Osama Hamdan affirmed the movement's adherence to its conditions for accepting a captive release deal in Gaza, which includes putting an end to Israeli aggression.

Hamdan's remarks came a few days after the conclusion of talks between mediators in Cairo, aimed at securing a truce in Gaza and halting the Israeli conflict that has persisted since October 7.

During the talks, Israeli authorities stated that, through “useful” Egyptian mediation, the mediators had formulated a ceasefire proposal that would secure the release of captives.

The Israeli government urged the mediators to exert pressure on Hamas to reach a ceasefire agreement.

However, Hamdan revealed that there has been no progress in the ceasefire negotiations thus far, describing the negotiations as being “stuck in a vicious circle.”

He blamed this deadlock on the Israeli government’s “evasion” following the latest round of talks in Cairo.

“The occupation is still rejecting the legitimate demands of our people and resistance,” he emphasized.

Hamdan underscored Hamas' adherence to its demands, which include a permanent ceasefire, the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza, and the return of displaced individuals to their homes, particularly in the north.

He also underlined the need for increased aid delivery to all parts of Gaza, the commencement of reconstruction efforts in the strip, and the implementation of a genuine and serious prisoner swap operation.

Furthermore, Hamdan stated that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continues to hinder the agreement by erecting obstacles, indicating a lack of interest in the release of Israeli captives.

“It has become evident to everyone that Netanyahu and his government are attempting to buy time, absorb the anger of the prisoners’ families, and feign interest in continuing negotiations,” Hamdan remarked.

For several weeks, Egypt, Qatar, and the United States have been engaged in indirect talks between Hamas and Israel, with the goal of reaching a ceasefire agreement.

The Israeli war in Gaza has persisted for six months, killing more than 33,000 people, injuring over 75,000 and damaging and destroying the strip’s infrastructure.

On Wednesday, US President Joe Biden announced that a US team is present in Cairo, exerting significant efforts to facilitate a deal.

The urgency for a ceasefire has reached unprecedented levels as Gaza faces the imminent threat of a devastating famine, exacerbated by Israeli obstruction of vital humanitarian aid.

Additionally, Israel has disclosed plans for a ground invasion in Rafah, located in southern Gaza, which could potentially necessitate the evacuation of about 1.5 million citizens currently seeking shelter in the strip.

The international community has expressed alarm over these plans, fearing further catastrophic humanitarian implications.



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