Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Cairo ceasefire talks: Hamas presents deal draft as Israel skips meetings, continues genocidal onslaught in Gaza

The Palestinian resistance movement Hamas said on Wednesday it would continue working towards achieving a ceasefire in Gaza with Israel despite the reluctance of Israeli negotiators to attend the latest round of talks in Cairo.

“We are showing the required flexibility to reach a comprehensive cessation of aggression against our people, but the occupation is still evading the entitlements of this agreement,” Hamas said in a statement.

Representatives from Hamas and mediators from Qatar and Egypt are in Cairo trying to secure a 40-day ceasefire in the war in time for the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, which begins early next week.

Though U.S. President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that it was in the hands of Hamas whether to accept a deal for a ceasefire in exchange for the release of Israeli hostages, it appears that the Israeli side is the roadblock in achieving a truce.

Top Hamas official Osama Hamdan, in his latest press conference in Beirut on Tuesday, accused Israel of being the reason behind the failure of negotiations.

He said any exchange of prisoners cannot take place except after a ceasefire. Israel for its part wants merely a pause in fighting to get hostages out of Gaza and more aid in, insisting that it will not substantially end the conflict before Hamas is “eliminated”.

He further exposed the hypocrisy of the Israeli state which uses the negotiation process to hide its genocidal intents operational on the ground.

“We reaffirm that we will not allow the negotiation process to be open-ended with the continuation of the aggression and the war of starvation against our people, nor to serve as a cover for the continuation of more crimes against unarmed civilians, or to buy time to proceed with the genocide against our Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip. Any prisoner exchange will not take place before securing all the conditions of the resistance, and negotiations will not continue without a prospect,” Osama asserted.

The deal presented to Hamas would free some hostages captured by its fighters, while aid to Gaza would be increased to prevent famine as several malnourished children have already died of starvation, and Hamas would provide a list of all the hostages held in Gaza.

“An immediate ceasefire of roughly six weeks in Gaza together with the release of all hostages,” a revised draft of the US proposal in the UN council resolution read, as reported by Reuters.

U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani on Tuesday assured that the release of sick, injured, elderly and women hostages would result in an immediate ceasefire in Gaza of at least six weeks.

“This first phase of a ceasefire would also enable a surge of humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza, and provide time and space to secure more enduring arrangements and sustained calm,” the White House statement about the meeting said.

However, Hamas claims Washington’s stance is designed to shift the burden of blame from Israel if the talks fail to produce any results.

Meanwhile, Hamas had presented its draft deal and was awaiting a response from Israel according to senior official Bassem Naim.

“Netanyahu doesn’t want to reach an agreement and the ball now is in the Americans’ court,” Bassem said.

Israel’s brutal attacks in the occupied Palestinian territories often increase during Ramadan, as does the hostility towards Muslims in the rest of the world.

According to Gaza’s Health Ministry, 30,631 Palestinians have been killed, and 72,042 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 7,000 people are presumed dead under the rubble throughout the Strip.

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