International Community Reacts to Hamas’ Recent Rejection of Hostage Deal for Ceasefire with Israel


According to sources cited by The Wall Street Journal, Hamas has communicated to mediators its rejection of the most recent U.S. proposal for a new hostages-for-ceasefire agreement. The terrorist group is reportedly planning to present a roadmap for a lasting resolution to the conflict.

The U.S. offer would have seen Israel  release 900 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for 40 hostages, along with a partial IDF withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and the unrestricted return of Palestinians to the northern part of the coastal enclave.

The plan proposed that Hamas would release more hostages at a later stage following the withdrawal of all Israeli troops from Gaza

At the same time, Hamas is currently “unable to locate 40 hostages detained in the Gaza Strip” needed for the first stage of a hostage deal, an Israeli official with knowledge of the talks told CNN on Wednesday.

A senior Israeli official familiar with the talks in Cairo told the Journal that Israel was open to using the U.S. proposal as a basis for talks and that a majority in the Cabinet would vote to back a deal.

However, Israeli officials view the framework’s plan for the free movement of Palestinians in northern Gaza and the ratio of terrorists to hostages released as significant concessions to Hamas, the newspaper said.

Indirect talks have been taking place in Cairo, Doha and Paris brokered by Egypt, Qatar and the U.S. for a temporary truce that would see the release of the captives still in the Strip.

The Israeli delegation led by Mossad chief David Barnea departed the Egyptian capital on Monday amid conflicting reports of progress in negotiations to free the remaining hostages.

U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan on Tuesday expressed frustration with Hamas, saying Israel was prepared to move forward.

Asked about President Joe Biden’s failure to secure a deal, Sullivan told reporters at a White House press briefing that “there could be a ceasefire in place today that would extend for several weeks to be built upon longer if Hamas would be prepared to release some of those people.”

He added, “I believe Israel is ready and Hamas should step up to the table and be prepared to do so as well.”

Officials in Jerusalem believe that the IDF withdrawal from Khan Yunis and the flood of humanitarian aid into Gaza have hurt the chances that Hamas will agree to a hostage release deal, Ynet reported Wednesday.

“We gave up our strong cards for nothing,” the outlet quoted the Israeli sources as saying. “Hamas is digging in with its demands for an end to the war and a troop withdrawal, and is determined to play tricks with the mediators,” the sources continued.

Speaking at a women’s event in Jordan late last month, Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal declared that the organization’s leadership is “waging a negotiating battle no less fierce” than the military conflict with the IDF, according to a readout of his remarks posted to Telegram by Hamas.

Inshallah [‘God willing’], we will defeat them in the field and in the negotiating battle,” said Mashaal, adding that the group is also fighting “intense battles” in the media and on the political battlefield.

The terrorist leader reiterated that “in the negotiations, we insist on stopping the aggression, withdrawing from Gaza, returning the displaced to their places, especially in northern Gaza, providing all necessary relief, shelter and reconstruction, and ending the siege.

“We will not release their prisoners [the hostages] until we achieve these goals,” Mashaal vowed.


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