Hamas rejects latest hostage deal, Israel threatens to withdraw from talks

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By journalsofus.com

Hamas rejected Israel’s latest proposal cease the fighting and release the hostages, according to a CNN report on Friday.

According to an anonymous diplomat quoted by CNN, “They refused and stated that it does not include any response to their requests.”

According to the diplomat, Hamas believed that “the Israeli proposal includes nothing newso they do not see the need to change their proposal,” the official added.

The negotiations were supposed to lead to a lasting ceasefire, according to the UN Security Council resolution approved last monthand mediators from Egypt, Qatar and the United States have worked to try to reach an agreement since the conflict broke out in October.

Negotiators hoped to achieve a six-week ceasefire and a three-phase framework to secure the release of sick, elderly and wounded hostages in exchange for the release of Palestinian prisoners and increased humanitarian aid.

A general view shows a plaque with the United States, inside the UN headquarters, on the day members of the United Nations Security Council vote on a resolution on Gaza demanding an immediate ceasefire. March 25, 2024 (credit: Andrew Kelly/Reuters)

This round seemed more promising, but ultimately failed, with Hamas refusing to continue negotiating unless Israel agreed to two major demands.

Hamas demanded that there be an unrestricted return of Gazans to the north and that IDF troops withdraw.

Are negotiations continuing?

CIA Director William Burns, Mossad Director David Barnea and Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) Director Ronen Bar were expected to meet in Egypt this weekend to continue talks on Stop the fire.

However, Hamas’ latest rejection has led Israeli officials to publicly question whether there is any point in continuing negotiations, according to a report by public broadcaster KAN11.

The trio met last month in Doha for talks with mediators, but no clear progress was made.

Israel is reportedly pressuring both Egypt and Qatar to put pressure on Hamas, with threats to withdraw completely from the Cairo negotiations.

Israel has been under increasing pressure to allow more humanitarian aid into Gaza since the start of the war.

Still, pressure mounted last week after the killing of seven foreign aid workers prompted the aid organization to withdraw its services.

The pressure led Israel to reopen the Erez crossing for the first time since it was destroyed on October 7, to open the port of Ashdod to aid deliveries and to open the Kerem Shalom crossing.

The cabinet also approved on Friday afternoon the arrival of Jordanian army trucks carrying humanitarian aid through Israeli territory directly to the Gaza Strip.

The plan is for the trucks to enter through the Allenby crossing in a convoy to Kerem Shalom, where they will be inspected. From there they will continue towards Gaza.

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