Hamas demands ‘permanent ceasefire’ amid US pressure

“Any agreement which does not include a permanent ceasefire will not be signed,” a Hamas source said.

By World Israel News Staff

The Hamas terror group is doubling down on its demands following a ceasefire proposal announced by President Joe Biden, clarifying that it will not release hostages and agree to end the fighting unless Israel commits to a permanent end to the hostilities, with an American guarantee.

While Hamas initially released a statement after Biden’s speech that it viewed the American-brokered ceasefire agreement “positively,” the terror organization appears to be abiding by its previous conditions for a deal, which Israel considers to be non-starters.

Among Hamas’ conditions are demands that Israel withdraw all troops and military assets from the coastal enclave, commit to ending all military operations in Gaza, and Israel surrender control of the Rafah crossing.

Hamas will not release all of the hostages until those conditions are met, Lebanese news outlet Al-Akhbar reported a Hamas official as saying.

In order to agree to the first phase of the proposal, which would see the release of female, elderly, and wounded hostages, Israel must commit to a “full, permanent ceasefire.” That Israeli promise must be backed by an American guarantee, Hamas said.

“Any agreement which does not include a permanent ceasefire will not be signed,” the source said.

During phone calls on Sunday with Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and war cabinet member Benny Gantz, Secretary of State Antony Blinken reportedly praised Israel for its willingness to move forward with the American ceasefire propsoal.

He “commended Israel’s readiness to conclude a deal and affirmed that the onus is on Hamas to accept,” according to a statement from Blinken’s office.

Despite Blinken’s assertion that Israel had agreed to the proposal, a statement from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office indicated otherwise.

“Israel’s conditions for ending the war have not changed: The destruction of Hamas military and governing capabilities, the freeing of all hostages and ensuring that Gaza no longer poses a threat to Israel,” he said.