Hamas representative rules out new talks with Israel amid Gaza ceasefire talks

Ronit Kawale
Ronit Kawale - Senior Editor
4 Min Read

Osama Hamdan, a senior Hamas representative, has strongly rejected the notion of starting new negotiations with Israel. He denied Israeli media reports that raised the possibility of a resumption of talks for a Gaza ceasefire, as reported by Al Jazeera.

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In a recent telephone interview with Al Jazeera Arabic, Hamdan stressed that the priority is Israel's withdrawal from Gaza and an end to all hostilities. “We don't need new negotiations,” he said, stressing that Hamas has already accepted a ceasefire proposal, which Israel has rejected.

Hamdan expressed doubts over Israel's willingness to accept the new proposals, and cautioned against giving Israel additional time to continue its aggression in the absence of adequate guarantees.

Earlier this month, Hamas gave the green light to a ceasefire proposal brokered by Qatar and Egypt aimed at ending the seven-month-long Gaza conflict, although Israel deemed the proposal insufficient. Israeli media reports suggest that negotiations for a Gaza prisoner release deal are set to resume following discussions with mediators in Paris, reports Al Jazeera.

Israeli intelligence chief David Barnea reportedly agreed on a new negotiating framework with CIA Director Bill Burns and Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani. However, there are concerns within the Defense Ministry that any temporary ceasefire agreement could pave the way for future hostilities entirely at Israel's discretion.

Hamas remains firm in its position and insists on a permanent end to hostilities rather than settling on a temporary ceasefire. Israel, in contrast, has reiterated its commitment to end the conflict only when its objectives are met, including the complete destruction of Hamas. Nevertheless, growing international pressure and increasing isolation have posed significant challenges for Israel.

Recent developments, such as the International Court of Justice's order to halt the Rafah attack, and the International Criminal Court's execution of arrest warrants against Israeli leaders, reflect the growing diplomatic impasse. Additionally, the decisions of Ireland, Norway and Spain to recognise Palestine further highlight Israel's diplomatic dilemma.

Amid these developments, efforts to achieve a ceasefire and reopen Gaza border crossings have gained momentum. Washington has held discussions with Israeli officials, including war cabinet minister Benny Gantz, to find ways for a ceasefire and humanitarian aid access.

Cairo is playing a key role in mediating ceasefire talks and facilitating prisoner exchanges. Egypt's ongoing efforts are aimed at alleviating the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, which has been exacerbated by the closure of the Rafah crossing following Israeli military operations.

Updated casualty figures from Israel’s offensive in Gaza since 7 October show that at least 35,903 people have lost their lives, while 80,420 have been injured.

In contrast, the revised number of people killed in Israel as a result of Hamas attacks is 1,139, with many more still imprisoned.

Despite widespread public outrage and protests in Tel Aviv demanding the release of prisoners in Gaza, Netanyahu's government has yet to reach an agreement with Hamas. Critics question the government's commitment to reaching a settlement and doubt its sincerity in seeking a negotiated solution, reports Al Jazeera.

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