Hamas rejects Israel's ceasefire proposal, reaffirms original demands

14 April,2024 09:35 AM IST |  Tel Aviv  |  ANI

Hamas` initial demands include a permanent ceasefire, Israeli troop withdrawal from all of Gaza, return of Palestinians to northern Gaza and other areas.

A Palestinian woman with her children outside a hospital after Israeli bombardment in Bureij. Pic/AFP

Hamas on Saturday submitted its response to Israel's hostage deal negotiations and ceasefire and rejected the latter's proposal, sticking to its original demands, Xinhua reported.

The terror group said it was sticking to its original demands for a permanent ceasefire, the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the entirety of Gaza, the return of Palestinians to northern Gaza and other areas, a surge in humanitarian aid and the start of the Strip's reconstruction.

According to Xinhua, Hamas, in its statement, emphasised its readiness to conclude a "serious and genuine" prisoner-hostage exchange deal with Israel that the faction had received on April 8.

Later, the Israeli Prime Minister's office said it rejected the 'unfounded demands' of Hamas for an end to the Gaza war and a complete withdrawal of its troops from the enclave.

In an immediate response to Hamas' remarks, the office noted that the Israeli cabinet and the security forces were united in their opposition to these demands, Xinhua reported.

The office said political instruction given to negotiations focuses on "achieving the release of our hostages and maintaining Israel's security".

It argued that the only obstacle to obtaining the release of the Israeli hostages is Hamas and "not any factor on the Israeli side," and that Hamas "has refused any deal and any compromise proposal."

On Monday, Cairo hosted a new round of indirect negotiations between Israel and Hamas, in a new attempt to reach agreements leading to a ceasefire and a prisoner exchange.

Palestinian sources told Xinhua that the mediators presented a new proposal in the Cairo talks, including a three-stage ceasefire, without specifying a complete withdrawal of Israel from the Gaza Strip.

The first stage enables the return of 'non-armed' displaced civilians to the northern Gaza Strip, without specifying their numbers, the opening of the Rashid and Salah al-Din streets with Israel's forces stationed 500 metres away.

It also includes entering 500 aid trucks daily into all areas of Gaza and releasing 900 Palestinian prisoners, including 100 with life sentences.

The proposed second stage initiates the release of all Israeli prisoners and the conclusion of negotiations for a sustainable calm.

Qatari and Egyptian mediators, in addition to the US, seek to reach a deal for a prisoner exchange and a second truce between Israel and Hamas, following the first one that lasted a week until the beginning of December, last year.

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