Deputy head Al-Hayya reveals details Hamas agreed to in 3-stage Gaza ceasefire proposal by Egypt & Qatar

Ahram Online , Monday 6 May 2024

Khalil Al-Hayya, deputy head of the Hamas Political Bureau, revealed to Al Jazeera details of the ceasefire deal proposed by Egypt and Qatar and accepted by the movement earlier on Monday evening.

Khalil al-Hayya
A file picture shows senior Hamas leader Khalil al-Hayya speaking to the media in Gaza. AFP


Earlier on Monday, Ismail Haniyeh, the head of the Political Bureau of Hamas informed in phone calls to the Head of the Egyptian General Intelligence Service Abbas Kamel and Qatar Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani that the movement has accepted their proposal for a ceasefire in the Gaza war.

The proposal presented to us by Egyptian and Qatari mediators includes three stages each stage lasting 42 days, Al-Hayya, who is based in Doha, explained to Al Jazeera.

Al-Hayya said the text of the ceasefire proposal includes the interconnectedness of the three stages of implementation.

The mediators told us that the US President has committed clearly to guaranteeing the agreement's implementation.

Shortly after Haniyeh's announcement, US State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller confirmed that the US has received a response from Hamas on ceasefire-for-hostages in Gaza and will be reviewing that response with its partners Egypt and Qatar and discussing it with Israel.

Miller said a deal is in the best interests of Israel, securing the release of hostages and ensuring more humanitarian aid flows into Gaza.

President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi stated on Monday evening that he "closely monitors" the positive developments in the ongoing Israel-Hamas negotiations, brokered by Cairo and Doha, calling on all parties to exert more effort to reach an agreement.

“I closely monitor the positive developments in the current negotiations to reach a comprehensive ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. I call on all parties to exert more effort to reach an agreement that will end the humanitarian tragedy suffered by the Palestinian people and complete the exchange of hostages and prisoners,” El-Sisi wrote on his official Facebook page.

Egyptian-Qatari efforts

In recent days, security officials from Egypt, Qatar and the US have been mediating round-the-clock to reach a ceasefire between Hamas and Israel to end the seven-month-old Israeli war on Gaza.

The last round of negotiations was held in Cairo over the weekend.

On Sunday, the Hamas delegation left the Egyptian capital to consult with the leadership in Doha on the most recent proposals for a truce deal.

Earlier today, Al-Qahera News reported that the Hamas delegation was set to return to Cairo for talks on Tuesday.

Haniyeh's announcement came hours after Israel ordered the evacuation of civilians from eastern Rafah before carpet bombing whole residential blocks in the area ahead of an imminent ground invasion of the southernmost city in the strip where 1.5 million residents and displaced Palestinians have been sheltering from Israeli bombing since 7 October.

The evacuation and bombing sent thousands of panicked Palestinians fleeing for their lives out of eastern Rafah.

On Monday afternoon, the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement warning against the dangers of a possible Israeli military operation in the Palestinian Rafah area in the south of the Gaza Strip.

The foreign ministry said any such military operation would pose significant humanitarian risks and threaten more than a million Palestinians in that area.

"Egypt called on Israel to exercise the utmost restraint and avoid further escalation at this sensitive time during ceasefire negotiations, and to stop the shedding of Palestinian civilian blood who have been facing an unprecedented humanitarian disaster since the start of the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip," added the statement.

The statement reaffirmed Egypt’s continued communication around the clock with all parties to prevent the situation from worsening or spiralling out of control.

Terms of a deal
Cessation of hostilities

On the first day of the first phase of the agreement, the parties would commit to halting military operations temporarily, Al-Hayya said.

He added that the proposal includes an announcement of a permanent stop to military and hostile operations in the second phase.

Lifting of siege

The proposal includes a text approving a complete lifting of the siege on Gaza and the free entry of aid to the strip in the third stage, added Al-Hayya.

Israeli troop withdrawal

The proposal includes the complete withdrawal of the occupation from the Netzarim axis in the first phase and allowing the freedom of return of the displaced to their homes.

The occupation forces will withdraw to areas adjacent to the border inside the Gaza Strip in the first phase of the proposal.

The occupation forces will withdraw outside the Gaza Strip in the second phase of the proposal.

Prisoner swap

The proposal includes an exchange of prisoners in three stages.

The proposal includes releasing 30 of the same category from the occupation prisons according to seniority for every released Israeli captive.

“The ball is now in the Israeli occupation court but we have no information on when the Israeli side would respond,” stressed Al-Hayya to Al Jazeera.

"In this agreement, we achieved the goals of a ceasefire, the return of the displaced, relief, and a serious prisoner exchange deal."

"There are no restrictions on the return of the displaced and there is a clear text in the agreement."

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