Home News Israeli leaders to discuss Hamas response to ceasefire proposal

Israeli leaders to discuss Hamas response to ceasefire proposal


Israeli ministers are due to meet Thursday evening to discuss Hamas’ response to a new proposal for a ceasefire and hostage release in Gaza, with the move serving as mediator. Seeking to restart stalled talks A ceasefire was reached after nearly nine months of war.

On Wednesday, the Israeli government said in a statement that it was studying Hamas’ response to the latest proposal and would submit its own reply to the mediators. The negotiations are based on the three-phase framework agreement announced by President Biden in late May and approved by the UN Security Council.

An Israeli official who spoke on condition of anonymity said late Wednesday that the two sides remained far apart but that Hamas’ response left the potential for the talks to move forward. The official declined to provide further details.

For months, Israel and Hamas, as well as Qatar, Egypt and the United States, have held indirect talks on a possible ceasefire, calling for a three-phase ceasefire in Gaza and the release of the remaining 120 hostages, both living and dead, still held there. However, the two sides remain far apart on the main issues, and the negotiations have been largely stalled since June.

The main stumbling block has to do with a fundamental dispute: Hamas wants a deal guaranteed to end the war and allow for a full withdrawal of Israeli troops, while Israel has vowed to keep fighting until Hamas is eliminated and also seeks post-war security control over Gaza.

In Israel, some influential members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition government have expressed opposition to a potential deal with Hamas.

“This is not the time to stop, quite the opposite: This is the time to mobilize more troops, to increase military pressure,” Bezalel Smotrich, the country’s far-right finance minister, said on Tuesday. “It would be absurd if we stopped at the very moment of victory — the final, complete victory over Hamas.”

The Biden administration hopes the Gaza ceasefire will calm the escalating cross-border fire on Israel’s northern border. Since the Hamas-led attack on October 7, Hezbollah, a powerful Lebanese armed group, has launched several attacks on northern Israel in support of Hamas, triggering Israeli airstrikes on Lebanon.

Hezbollah Launched a relatively large-scale barrageThe Israeli military said the attackers fired 200 rockets and mortar shells into northern Israel and launched more than 20 drones. The attack caused air raid sirens in the area to last for more than an hour, the Israeli military said. No casualties were reported.

Hezbollah said the shelling was partly a response to Israel’s assassination of a senior Hezbollah military commander in the southern Lebanese region of Tyre the day before. But Hezbollah fired most of its ammunition in border areas to avoid large-scale attacks on Israel’s heartland, which could have triggered a more serious counterattack.

More than 150,000 people have fled their homes on both sides of the Israeli-Lebanese border, and they don’t know when they can return. Hezbollah says its forces will not stop their attacks unless Israel ends its military campaign in Gaza. At the same time, Israeli officials are making increasingly fierce threats that they may launch an offensive against Lebanon to drive Hezbollah out of the border.

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