‘Israel Got Played’ – Biden accused of hiding info on Hamas ceasefire plans

Biden administration withheld information on Hamas’ changes to ceasefire deal, Israeli officials charge, allowing the terror group to lay a political ambush for Israel.

By World Israel News Staff

The Biden administration withheld key information on Hamas’ plans to adopt an Israeli-Egyptian draft of a ceasefire agreement, while adding numerous clauses of its own, Israeli officials claim, allowing the terror group to lay a political ambush targeting Israel.

Multiple Israeli officials informed Axios Tuesday that the White House was aware of Hamas plans to appear to endorse the framework for a hostage deal hammered out a week ago by Israel and Egypt, even as the terrorist group’s chief made significant changes to the proposal, adding numerous clauses which could be used to force an end to the Gaza war.

On Monday, Hamas’ leader-in-exile, Ismail Haniyeh, informed Qatar and Egypt that his organization had accepted the Israeli-Egyptian draft for a hostage deal and ceasefire.

Under the proposal agreed upon by Israel and Egypt last week, Hamas would free 33 living Israeli captives during a six-week ceasefire, while Israel in return would release hundreds of jailed Arab terrorists.

The ceasefire would not mark an end to the war, and Israel would not be required to withdraw its forces from the entire Gaza Strip – two key points of contention between Hamas and Israel.

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Later on Monday, however, Israeli officials reported that the offer they received from Hamas via Egypt and Qatar included significant modifications to the version Israel had previously agreed to, with new clauses aimed at determining the conditions for ending the current war and ensuring the enforcement of the truce.

In addition, Hamas has intimated that the 33 Israeli captives who would be released as part of the deal would not all be alive.

Three separate Israeli officials said Hamas’ response came as a surprise to Jerusalem, which had been immersed in preparations for the ground operation in Rafah and diplomatic efforts to avert a row with Washington over the campaign.

It looked like a whole new proposal,” one Israeli official was quoted by Axios as saying.

The Israeli officials also said that senior Biden administration officials, including CIA Director Bill Burns, who is heading up the American delegation to Cairo for the hostage deal talks, were aware of Hamas’ changes to the deal and intentionally withheld the information from Jerusalem.

The finishing touches to Hamas’ modified version of the proposal were penned in Doha, with the Biden administration’s knowledge, the officials added.

Burns was aware of the changes when he spoke with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant (Likud) by phone Monday morning, the officials continued, but declined to inform the minister of Hamas’ surprise announcement.

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“Israel got played,” two Israeli sources were quoted as saying.

A senior American official denied the claim, saying that “American diplomats have been engaged with Israeli counterparts. There have been no surprises.”