Report: Hamas rejects ceasefire deal – ‘No permanent end to war’

Hamas source says terror group demands all troops withdraw from Strip, Israel promise to permanently end war, before hostage will be released.

By World Israel News Staff

The Hamas terror group has rejected a ceasefire proposal brokered by the United States, according to a Saudi media outlet, because the deal does not require Israel to commit to a permanent halt to the war.

President Joe Biden pushed the outline – which would see a cessation of fighting, the return of the Israeli captives held for eight months in the Gaza Strip in exchange for the release of hundreds or thousands of Palestinian terror prisoners, and a rehabilitation plan for the coastal enclave – in a recent speech.

The Biden administration has stressed that Israel accepted the terms of the deal – a claim which was later walked back by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – and that the “onus is on Hamas” to accept the agreement.

But according to a Saudi news report, Hamas has officially rejected the deal because it lacks a clause that would force Israel to declare a permanent end to this round of hostilities, with an American guarantee that Jerusalem would abide by that commitment.

A Hamas source, speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, said Israel had made fundamental changes to the American proposal, with terms that were unacceptable to the terror group.

“Israel is manipulating. They want a temporary truce, then the war will resume… They use ambiguous texts that are open to interpretation,” the source said.

The terror group objects to an additional condition of the outline, which would see Israeli soldiers remain in the Strip while captives are freed.

According to the Hamas source, the terror group is demanding a full withdrawal of all Israeli military assets and personnel from the coastal enclave, which must occur before hostages are freed.

“We are in a process where we will continue to wear down the enemy,” said Defense Minister Yoav Gallant on Wednesday.

“Any negotiations with the Hamas terror organization will only be conducted under fire,” he added.