Hamas rejects Israel’s hostage deal proposal

Hamas officials say they will review ceasefire proposal, though they say it does not meet their demands.

By World Israel News Staff

Hamas said that it was “studying” a new proposal for a ceasefire, which would end fighting in the Gaza Strip and see the release of some 40 Israeli hostages held captive in the coastal enclave.

However, Hamas stressed that the outline did not meet some of their basic demands, including a permanent end to the war and complete withdrawal of Israeli security forces from the Strip.

“We reject the latest Israeli proposals that the Egyptian side informed us of,” senior Hamas official Ali Baraka told Reuters on Monday. “The politburo met today and decided this.”

Another Hamas official, who did not want to be identified by name, downplayed the significance of the negotiations.

“There is no change in the position of the occupation [Israel] and therefore, there is nothing new in the Cairo talks,” he told Reuters. “There is no progress yet.”

The fact that Hamas is “studying” the deal, however, suggests that it is under immense pressure to agree to at least a temporary ceasefire in the near future.

According to reports, the Biden administration has demanded that Qatar push the terror group towards some sort of compromise.

Qatar is said to be threatening to no longer provide funding to Gazan families in the Strip, should Hamas continue to refuse to accept a truce deal.

At the same time, Washington exerted heavy pressure on the Israeli government. After a tense phone call between President Biden and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel opened additional crossing points for humanitarian aid into the coastal enclave.

On Monday, Israel withdrew nearly all of its troops from the Strip, with just one brigade remaining in southern Gaza.

IDF senior officials have insisted that the troop withdrawal does not indicate an end to the war, and Netanyahu has said that an invasion of Rafah is forthcoming.