Dr Mike Evans

Hamas rejects US-brokered deal to release hostages

According to a report by Reuters, Hamas reiterated its commitment to its original ceasefire terms during discussions with mediators on Monday. These terms, which include the withdrawal of IDF forces from the Gaza Strip, the repatriation of Palestinians to their residences, and a prisoner exchange, stand as the cornerstone of Hamas’s negotiating position.

The Hamas response comes on the heels of Israel’s recent acceptance of a compromise proposal from the United States regarding the release of Palestinian detainees. Israeli officials, as reported by domestic media on Sunday, indicated a willingness to release approximately 700-800 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the liberation of 40 hostages..

On March 14, Hamas outlined its essential conditions for a potential agreement in a press release, stressing the necessity of ceasing aggression in Gaza, providing aid to displaced individuals, and removing occupying forces. A statement distributed via Hamas’s official Telegram channel reiterated the group’s unwavering commitment to these principles, emphasizing their significance for achieving lasting peace in the region.

Hamas criticized and rejected Israel’s response as insufficient, accusing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s administration of obstructing negotiation efforts. The group claimed that the lack of progress was due to Israel’s failure to address core Palestinian demands, signaling an end to the ongoing negotiations.

Reuters reported on Tuesday that a small Mossad delegation would return to Israel for further consultations on the evolving situation. In a statement released the same day, Netanyahu condemned the Hamas stance, asserting that it rejects compromise and prioritizes extreme demands.

Netanyahu emphasized Israel’s unwavering commitment to its security and reiterated its determination to achieve its war objectives, which include the release of all hostages, the dismantling of Hamas’s military and administrative infrastructure, and ensuring that Gaza no longer poses a threat to Israel’s security.