“Nothing New, No Real Progress”: Hamas Official On Ceasefire Deal With Israel

A senior Palestinian Hamas official said Saturday in Beirut that negotiations for an agreement with Israel on a Gaza ceasefire and hostage release deal had not made any progress.

A plan presented last month by US President Joe Biden, which he said was proposed by Israel, included a six-week truce accompanied by an Israeli withdrawal from densely populated areas and the release of some hostages in exchange for Palestinian prisoners held in Israel. 

According to US news site Axios, “three sources with direct knowledge” said Washington had presented a “new language for parts of” the proposed deal.

On Saturday, Osama Hamdan, a Hamas official based in Lebanon, confirmed that the Islamist movement had received the latest proposal on June 24, but that it included “nothing new”.

“We can say that there is no real progress in the negotiations to stop the (Israeli) aggression so far”, he said at a press conference.

The plan presented by Biden has so far failed to result in a deal, with both sides sticking to their demands.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he will continue the war until Hamas is totally defeated and all hostages are freed.

Hamas insists on a permanent ceasefire and a complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Gaza Strip.

Hamdan said the proposals were “merely a waste of time and provide additional time for the occupation (Israel) to practise genocide”.

He also said Hamas was being pressured to accept Israel’s deal “as it is without modification”.

The war started with Hamas’s October 7 attack on southern Israel which resulted in the deaths of 1,195 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli figures.

The militants also seized hostages, 116 of whom remain in Gaza although the army says 42 are dead.

Israel’s retaliatory offensive has killed at least 37,834 people, also mostly civilians, according to data from the health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza.

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