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Israel and Hamas disagree on US-backed ceasefire – media reports

The warring parties have reportedly failed to reach a truce and hostage-release deal

Buildings destroyed by Israeli bombing raids in the Nuseirat camp, central Gaza, June 8, 2024. ©  Majdi Fathi / NurPhoto / Getty Images

A number of media outlets reported on Tuesday that Israeli officials have accused of rejecting a US plan to end the war in Gaza, after it issued a response to the proposals. The Palestinian group, however, has disputed this account.

The US revealed in late May that had agreed to a three-phase plan, which included a ceasefire and the release of remaining hostages held in Gaza.

Hamas and the smaller Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) group released a statement this week, saying they had submitted their own response to the US-backed draft.   

“This evening, Israel received, via the mediator, the Hamas response. In its response, Hamas has rejected the proposal for a hostage release that was presented by President Biden,” an Israeli official who spoke on the condition of anonymity told the Times of Israel.

Reuters quoted an unnamed Israeli official as saying that the Palestinian militant group “changed all of the main and most meaningful parameters” of the potential deal.

Hamas, however, said that it had merely affirmed its previous position regarding the need for a comprehensive end to hostilities. “Our response is our commitment to what we previously committed to, a ceasefire and [complete] withdrawal from Gaza,” senior Hamas official Osama Hamdan told the Lebanese TV channel Al Mayadeen on Tuesday.

Hamas “cannot compromise on the rights of its people under any circumstances,” he said. 

Read more Israeli troops disguised themselves as Palestinians during hostage rescue operation – ABC

According to CNN, the armed group had proposed amendments to the Israeli proposal, including a timeline for a ceasefire and the withdrawal of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) from Gaza.

On Monday, the UN Security Council passed a resolution calling on both parties to implement the proposed ceasefire “without delay and without condition.” 

The political coordinator at Israel’s mission to the UN, Reut Shapir Ben-Naftaly, reiterated on Monday that the Jewish state intends to “ensure that Gaza doesn’t pose a threat to Israel in the future” and to bring back all of the hostages captured by Hamas during its October 7 raid. Speaking at the Security Council, she accused Hamas of using “endless negotiations… as a means to stall for time.”

More than 37,000 Palestinians have been killed during the conflict, which entered its ninth month last week. The current round of fighting was triggered by a Hamas cross-border attack in October, which left some 1,200 Israelis dead and more than 200 people taken captive. Dozens of hostages were subsequently released as part of prisoner swaps during a weeklong truce in November. The IDF rescued four hostages during a commando raid into Gaza on June 8.

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