Hamas Says It Accepted Proposal for Ceasefire But Israel Hasn’t Approved the Terms

Israel says the offer was unilaterally proposed by Egypt

Hamas said on Monday that it accepted a proposal for a ceasefire and hostage deal from Qatari and Egyptian mediators, but Israeli officials say they have not approved the terms.

According to Al Jazeera, the Palestinian group said in a statement that Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas’s political chief, spoke with Qatari and Egyptian officials and “informed them of the Hamas movement’s approval of their proposal regarding the ceasefire agreement.”

According to The Times of Israel, Israeli officials have said the proposal Hamas said it accepted was an offer made unilaterally by Egypt and is not being taken seriously by Israel until details are clarified.

State Department spokesman Matt Miller said the US was reviewing the proposal Hamas has approved. “I can confirm that Hamas has issued a response. We are reviewing that response now and discussing it with our partners in the region,” he said.

Details of the proposal are unclear, but recent media reports said the deal that was on the table was for Hamas to release 33 Israeli hostages in exchange for a 40-day ceasefire and the release of Palestinian prisoners.

The main obstacle to an agreement is the fact that Hamas has also been for a commitment from Israel to work toward a permanent ceasefire while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been threatening an invasion of Rafah “with or without” a hostage deal.

Netanyahu has been accused of sabotaging the negotiations with Hamas, and a US official told Reuters on Monday that the Israeli leader and his war cabinet “have not appeared to approach the latest phase of negotiations in good faith.”

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of Antiwar.com, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.