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Sunday, July 7, 2024

Hamas’s Stop-Fireplace Proposal Features a Acquainted Sticking Level


Hamas has softened its place in its newest Gaza cease-fire proposal however is sticking to a key demand that has been a serious hurdle to a deal, in line with two senior officers from nations concerned within the negotiations.

That has dampened prospects for an imminent settlement, at the same time as U.S. and Israeli officers have expressed optimism now that the talks are transferring ahead after weeks of impasse.

Hamas offered a counterproposal on Wednesday. The 2 officers mentioned that Hamas wished worldwide assurances that, as soon as an preliminary truce kicks in, either side will preserve negotiating till they attain a remaining deal to finish the battle and free all the hostages remaining in Gaza.

In impact, Hamas desires to make sure that it doesn’t flip over most of the hostages just for Israel to restart the battle, one of many officers mentioned. Each senior officers spoke on the situation of anonymity as a result of they weren’t approved to talk publicly.

Israeli negotiators instantly rejected that demand, the 2 officers mentioned. Israel desires the choice to renew combating if it deems it essential. With out such leverage, Hamas may drag its toes, successfully acquiring an undeclared everlasting cease-fire, one of many officers argued.

On the coronary heart of the dispute is the query of the way forward for Gaza. Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, has vowed to destroy Hamas and topple its rule within the Palestinian enclave. Hamas hopes {that a} everlasting cease-fire will enable it to cling to energy.

Israel’s army leaders now more and more say {that a} deal to carry residence the remaining 120 hostages is the fitting approach ahead, even at the price of leaving Hamas in energy in the interim.

The talks are primarily based on a three-stage framework first publicized by President Biden in late Might and later endorsed by the United Nations Safety Council.

Each side agree on the broad outlines of a deal that would come with a six-week cease-fire and the discharge of many of the civilian hostages in alternate for Palestinian prisoners.

In the course of the pause, Israel and Hamas would negotiate the subsequent step: an finish to the battle and the discharge of the remaining residing hostages, most of them troopers.

The talk now could be over what comes subsequent.

With a doable deal coming collectively, William J. Burns, the C.I.A. director, will journey within the coming week to Doha for conferences with intelligence chiefs from Israel, Europe and different nations to debate the cease-fire deal, in line with three folks briefed on the negotiations.

Mr. Burns can even doubtless journey to Israel to maintain stress on the Israeli authorities to take a deal.

American officers consider the present revisions to the deal, laying out exact situations to maneuver between phases of the settlement, may very well be sufficient to start to launch the hostages after months of captivity.

However even when Israeli negotiators may attain a deal that might finish the battle in Gaza, it’s unclear whether or not Mr. Netanyahu’s authorities would again it. Two senior members of his coalition have dominated out a full cease-fire and Mr. Netanyahu himself has publicly zigzagged on whether or not he endorses the framework.

About 120 hostages stay in Gaza out of roughly 250 folks kidnapped within the Hamas-led assault, in line with Israel. About one-third of them are presumed lifeless by the Israeli authorities.

Throughout a weeklong truce in November, 105 have been freed in alternate for 240 Palestinian prisoners, however Hamas has refused to launch any extra hostages with out a path to a everlasting cease-fire.

On Friday, an Israeli delegation led by David Barnea, the top of the Mossad intelligence company, arrived in Qatar for the primary time in weeks to carry additional talks. Mr. Barnea met with the Qatari prime minister, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani, who has served as one of many major mediators.

However, in an uncommon association, Mr. Barnea didn’t arrive with different senior Israeli safety chiefs working to hammer out the deal. He was accompanied by Ophir Falk, a detailed aide to Mr. Netanyahu, the 2 senior officers mentioned.

The Israeli army and Shin Guess intelligence service, each of which take part within the negotiations, declined to remark.

Hamas did make one key concession in its counterproposal, softening its stance on the phrases of negotiations for the second section of the cease-fire. The group had wished to maintain these talks centered solely on which Palestinian prisoners can be launched in alternate for hostages.

The concession adopted weeks of stress on Hamas by Qatar, which hosts a lot of the armed group’s political management in Doha, the officers mentioned.

However on the identical time, Hamas demanded assurances from mediating nations, together with america, that the talks in the course of the truce would proceed till a everlasting cease-fire was negotiated and all residing hostages have been launched, the 2 officers mentioned.

Israeli negotiators had already agreed the six-week truce may very well be prolonged so long as the talks have been progressing. Hamas’s new phrasing may very well be learn as permitting these negotiations — and the preliminary truce — to proceed indefinitely, one of many senior officers mentioned.

In the course of the conferences in Qatar, Mr. Barnea argued that Hamas’s demand can be a elementary break from the proposal adopted by the U.N. Safety Council and by Mr. Biden, the senior official mentioned.

Because the cease-fire talks inched ahead, Israel’s army marketing campaign in Gaza continued on Saturday throughout the enclave. Israeli plane struck within the space of a United Nations college in Nuseirat in central Gaza, the place the Israeli army claimed Palestinian militants had been working. At the very least 16 folks have been killed and dozens wounded within the strike, in line with the Gaza well being ministry, which doesn’t distinguish between civilians and combatants.

The college had develop into a shelter for displaced folks looking for security, the ministry added. The Israeli army mentioned it had tried to keep away from civilian casualties and blamed Hamas for working from areas crowded with Gazan civilians.

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