Hamas proposes 'amendments' to Gaza truce deal, Israel calls it 'rejection'

Palestinian militant group Hamas has submitted its response to the US-backed proposal for a ceasefire in Gaza, seeking "amendments" to the deal. Israel, however, views the response as tantamount to a rejection.
Hamas proposes 'amendments' to Gaza truce deal, Israel calls it 'rejection'
Anjali Raj / Jaano Junction

Palestinian militant group Hamas has submitted its response to the US-backed proposal for a ceasefire in Gaza, seeking "amendments" to the deal. The response, received by mediators Qatar and Egypt, falls short of an outright acceptance but keeps negotiations alive for a halt to the eight-month war.

Israel, however, views the response as tantamount to a rejection, while Hamas officials believe they have reiterated longstanding demands not met by the current plan.

Meanwhile, an Israeli drone strike in southern Lebanon killed a senior field commander of Hezbollah, identified as Abu Taleb, and three fighters for the militant group, reported Reuters citing security sources.

Here are the latest developments in the Israel-Hamas war:

Hamas officials have expressed wariness over whether Israel would implement the terms of the proposed ceasefire deal, particularly provisions for a permanent end to fighting and full Israeli withdrawal from Gaza in exchange for the release of all hostages held by the militants.

The proposal, announced by US President Joe Biden last month, calls for a three-phased plan that would begin with an initial six-week truce and the release of some hostages in exchange for Palestinian prisoners. Israeli forces would withdraw from populated areas, and Palestinian civilians would be allowed to return to their homes. The second phase would bring a permanent end to hostilities, the release of all remaining hostages, and a full Israeli withdrawal from Gaza. The third phase would initiate a major multi-year reconstruction plan for Gaza.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken continued to urge Hamas to accept the proposal, citing the UN Security Council's vote in favour of the plan as evidence of international support. "Everyone’s vote is in, except for one vote, and that’s Hamas," Blinken said in Tel Aviv.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has given conflicting signals over the ceasefire deal, saying Israel will not stop until Hamas is destroyed, despite the US stating that Israel has accepted the proposal.

Hamas chief Yahya Sinwar said he believes he has gained the upper hand over Israel and that the civilian death toll in Gaza would work in the militant group’s favour, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal.

In dozens of messages sent over several months, Sinwar communicated to Hamas leaders as well as mediators that he had no interest in pursuing a truce with Israel, as he believed that the growing civilian death toll would serve to benefit Hamas more than a halt to fighting.

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Hamas proposes 'amendments' to Gaza truce deal, Israel calls it 'rejection'

“We have the Israelis right where we want them,” Sinwar told other Hamas leaders recently, according to one of the messages. In another, Sinwar is said to have described civilian deaths as "necessary sacrifices".

Source: ANI

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