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Wednesday, July 17, 2024

WHO’S LYING? US, Hamas argue over attempt to change Gaza ceasefire plan

WHO’S LYING? US, Hamas argue over attempt to change Gaza ceasefire plan

While U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday that Hamas had proposed some changes to the proposal for a ceasefire with Israel in Gaza, Hamas has said it is not true.

Senior Hamas official Osama Hamdan denied putting forward new ideas.

Speaking to pan-Arab Al-Araby TV, he said it was Israel that was rejecting proposals and accused the U.S. administration of going along with its close ally.

White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said many of Hamas’ proposed changes were minor “and not unanticipated” while others differed more substantially from what was outlined in a U.N. Security Council resolution on Monday backing the plan put forward by U.S. President Joe Biden.

READ ALSO: GAZA: Security Council adopts US resolution for ‘immediate, full and complete ceasefire’

“Our aim is to bring this process to a conclusion. Our view is that the time for haggling is over,” Sullivan told reporters.

Late on Wednesday, Hamas issued a statement stressing its “positivity” in the negotiations and urging the U.S. to pressure Israel to accept an agreement leading to a permanent ceasefire in Gaza as well as full withdrawal from the enclave, reconstruction and release of Palestinian prisoners.

The Palestinian group said that while U.S. officials have said Israel has accepted a ceasefire proposal outlined by Biden on May 31, “we have not heard any Israeli official confirm this acceptance.”

Biden’s proposal envisages a truce and a phased release of Israeli hostages in Gaza in exchange for Palestinians jailed in Israel, ultimately leading to a permanent end to the war.

At a press conference with Qatar’s prime minister in Doha, Blinken said some of the counter-proposals from Hamas, which has ruled Gaza since 2007, had sought to amend terms that it had accepted in previous talks.

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