Hamas says it creates broad prospects for Gaza truce

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Hamas submitted its formal response to the proposal outlined by US President Joe Biden on May 31….reports Asian Lite News

Hamas has responded positively to a US ceasefire plan aimed at ending the eight-month-old conflict in the Gaza Strip. They described their response as “positive,” indicating that it could pave the way for an agreement, media reported.

However, despite this apparent progress, the situation remains uncertain, as neither Hamas nor Israel has publicly committed to a deal, according to Reuters report.

Hamas submitted its formal response to the proposal outlined by US President Joe Biden on May 31. While Hamas viewed their response as positive, Israel interpreted it as a rejection.

A Hamas official clarified that their response was not a rejection but rather a restatement of longstanding demands that were not addressed in the current plan, Reuters reported.

Although Egypt and Qatar acknowledged receiving Hamas’ response, they did not disclose its contents. However, Izzat al-Rishq, a member of Hamas’ political bureau, expressed optimism about their response, stating that it was “responsible, serious, and positive,” and could lead to an agreement.

Another Hamas official reiterated their stance that any ceasefire must lead to a permanent end to hostilities in Gaza, the withdrawal of Israeli forces, reconstruction efforts in the Palestinian enclave, and the release of Palestinian prisoners in Israel.

Despite these demands, Hamas believes that there are no major obstacles to reaching an agreement, and the ball is now in Israel’s court.

However, Israel has not publicly confirmed its acceptance of the US proposal. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reiterated that Israel will not end its campaign in Gaza until Hamas is eliminated.

An Israeli official revealed that Hamas had altered significant parameters in their response, including rejecting a proposed hostage release.

Additionally, a non-Israeli official stated that Hamas proposed a new timeline for a permanent ceasefire and the withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza, including Rafah.

The UN Security Council recently voted in favour of a US resolution supporting the ceasefire proposal. Hamas indicated its acceptance of the resolution and readiness to negotiate further details. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken described Hamas’ comments as a “hopeful sign” but emphasized that they were not conclusive.

As Blinken met with Israeli officials in Tel Aviv, the diplomatic efforts to broker a ceasefire continue amidst ongoing violence in the region.

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