Tue 27 Feb 2024 6:37 pm - Jerusalem Time

Discrepancy regarding Hamas-Israel negotiations awaiting a decision on “crucial details”

Today, Tuesday, there continues to be a discrepancy in the news coming from America and Israel regarding the progress of talks between the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) and Israel and the imminence of reaching a ceasefire agreement in the Gaza Strip and the exchange of prisoners and detainees.

The American ABC News network quoted a senior Israeli political source as saying that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was surprised by US President Joe Biden's statements in which he expressed his hope for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas by next Monday.

For its part, the American newspaper "Washington Post" quoted an Israeli official as saying that there is no agreement at the present time regarding a truce or prisoner exchange deal, ruling out the imminence of reaching an agreement.

On the other hand, NBC quoted an informed source that there was progress in the ongoing ceasefire negotiations in Qatar, but there were still obstacles to be resolved.

The source said that negotiators are racing to reach an agreement before the start of the month of Ramadan, and that crucial details still need to be agreed upon, including the duration of the ceasefire.

NBC quoted American officials as saying that they hope that the temporary ceasefire will delay the attack on the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip.

American officials said that the temporary ceasefire would give them hope to negotiate a longer-term ceasefire.

The Israeli position

In Israel, a government spokeswoman said that Hamas put forward conditions that Netanyahu described as fictitious, accusing the movement of presenting unrealistic conditions.

The spokeswoman added in a press conference that many trucks are still waiting from the Gaza side and that the Israeli government's mission is only to verify their content.

She indicated that the government could inspect a larger number of humanitarian aid trucks before they enter the Gaza Strip.

The US President said that Israel agreed not to carry out military activities in the Gaza Strip during the upcoming month of Ramadan.

Biden added, in an interview with an American NBC program, that Israel risks losing support from all over the world “if the number of Palestinian deaths continues to rise.”

The US President indicated that Israel pledged to evacuate large proportions of Rafah's population before beginning what he called an operation to eliminate what remained of Hamas. He believed that a temporary ceasefire in Gaza might help towards a two-state solution.

No agreement

In Doha, Qatari Foreign Ministry spokesman Majid Al-Ansari said that Qatar is optimistic about the ceasefire talks in Gaza, and hopes for a cessation of hostilities during the month of Ramadan, but he stressed that there is no agreement yet between Hamas and Israel.

Al-Ansari added in a press conference on Tuesday in Doha: “We call on all parties to calm down and we seek to reach this goal despite the presence of obstacles.” He stressed that efforts are continuing at various levels regarding mediation and spoke of optimism in light of the continuation of negotiations, and “but there is nothing new to announce.” about him".

He stressed that Qatar hopes that the two parties will be able to stop hostilities during the month of Ramadan, and pointed out that Doha “cannot comment” on the statements of the US President, during which he spoke about the possibility of reaching an agreement on a ceasefire next Monday.

The Qatari Foreign Ministry spokesman criticized the lack of international pressure to bring aid into Gaza, in light of the decline in the amount of humanitarian aid that entered the Strip in the recent period, and said: “It is painful for the humanitarian side to be part of the negotiations.”

First round

Yesterday, Monday, representatives of the Israeli army, the Israeli Foreign Intelligence Service (Mossad), and the Internal Security Service (Shin Bet) held a first round of talks in Doha with Egyptian and Qatari mediators, which dealt with the humanitarian aspects of the prisoner deal proposal. Two Israeli officials said that these talks are expected to continue on Tuesday.

According to Israeli officials, Netanyahu asked his negotiators to stress that some Palestinian prisoners (such as Hamas members who were convicted of killing Israelis and are serving long sentences) would not be allowed to return to the Gaza Strip or the West Bank when they are released under the proposed exchange deal.

Tel Aviv estimates the number of detainees held by the Palestinian resistance in Gaza at about 134 Israelis, including soldiers, while the Israeli occupation holds no less than 8,800 Palestinians in its prisons, according to official Palestinian and Israeli sources.

Qatari mediation - with Egyptian-American support - succeeded in reaching a temporary humanitarian truce on November 24, which lasted for a week, during which 240 Palestinian prisoners were released from occupation prisons in exchange for the release of more than 100 detainees held by the resistance in Gaza, including about 80 Israelis.


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Discrepancy regarding Hamas-Israel negotiations awaiting a decision on “crucial details”