Updated May 31st, 2024 at 00:39 IST

Hamas Says it is Ready to Reach 'Complete Agreement' if Israel Stops War in Gaza

In a statement, Hamas said it was ready for a 'complete agreement', including a comprehensive hostage exchange so long as Israel agreed to stop the Gaza war.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Gaza ceasefire talks, thus far, have stalled, with Hamas and Israel disagreeing on, among other things, whether the ceasefire should be permanent or not. | Image:AP
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New Delhi: In a statement made on Thursday, Hamas said that it had informed mediating parties of its readiness to reach a ‘complete agreement’ including a comprehensive hostages/prisoners exchange' so long as Israel agrees to “stop its war and agression against people in Gaza,” Reuters reported. Earlier this month, Hamas had announced that it was ready to agree to a ceasefire deal that it was presented with. While it was initially believed that the agreement it was referring to was the very same Israel had tacitly approved, it was subsequently discovered that the militant group was agreeing to a changed version of the agreement that Israel deemed as being ‘unacceptable’. 

Later, CNN, citing three anonymous sources familiar with the matter, reported that the agreement that had been passed on to Hamas for its review had been changed by a member of the Egyptian intelligence service.

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This new version reportedly included several terms that were agreeable to Hamas but were a non-starter for Israel including language about ending the war in Gaza and the number of hostages that would be released during the multi-stage ceasefire.   

While Egypt denied these charges, the ceasefire talks ultimately stalled, with all involved sides leaving Cairo without a functional agreement in sight. Last week, CBS, quoting four sources with knowledge of the situation, said that the US would resume its diplomatic efforts to facilitate ceasefire talks in the coming week, with negotiators from Qatar and Egypt also expected to be involved. 

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Israeli news outlets, including Ynet, also reported that the Israeli war cabinet had expanded the mandate of the negotiating team in order to facilitate a hostage release deal with Hamas.

At present, the other sides in the negotiation have not reacted to the new statement made by Hamas. However, Israel has previously and repeatedly emphasised that it will not agree to a lasting ceasefire in Gaza and that it would continue its combat operations in the Strip until such time that Hamas and its affliate groups are destroyed, regardless of whether a hostage exchange deal is reached or not.  

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Published May 31st, 2024 at 00:39 IST