Egypt, Qatar receive Hamas response to US ceasefire proposal

Zeinab El-Gundy , Amr Kandil , Tuesday 11 Jun 2024

Egypt and Qatar announced on Tuesday in a joint statement that they had received a response from Hamas and Palestinian factions regarding the US proposal for a ceasefire and the exchange of prisoners and detainees.

his picture taken from the central Gaza Strip town of al-Zawaida shows smoke billowing following an Israeli strike south of Gaza City. AFP


In the statement shared by the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, both sides confirm that their joint mediation efforts with the United States are ongoing until an agreement is reached.

The mediators will review the response and coordinate with the concerned parties regarding the next steps, the statement added. 

According to a statement by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad released shortly after the Egyptian-Qatari statement, a joint delegation led by Ismail Haniyeh from Hamas and Ziad Al-Nakhalah from PIJ delivered the response of the resistance factions to the Qatari officials during a meeting with the Qatari Prime Minister.

The response was also sent to the Egyptian officials.

The response prioritizes the interests of the Palestinian people and emphasizes the need for a complete halt to the ongoing aggression on Gaza, said the Palestinian joint statement without giving further details.

The Palestinian delegation expressed its readiness to engage positively to reach an agreement that ends this war against our people, stemming from a sense of national responsibility, it added.

Sources told Al Jazeera that the response delivered included ceasefire-related amendments to the proposal.

On Monday, the Security Council adopted a US-sponsored resolution aimed at supporting a US-backed ceasefire plan for Gaza, with 14-0 votes and one abstention from Russia.

Egypt welcomed the resolution and urged both Hamas and Israel to finalize the proposed deal.

Hamas said on Monday that it welcomes the Security Council resolution, reaffirming its readiness to cooperate with the mediators to enter into indirect negotiations regarding the implementation of these principles.

The Islamic Jihad announced that it looks “positively” to the contents of the resolution, “especially regarding opening the door for reaching a comprehensive cessation of aggression and a full withdrawal of Israeli forces.”

The plan was announced by President Joe Biden late in May and enjoyed global support.

Last week, Hamas requested mediators to ensure Israeli commitment to a permanent ceasefire and withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza as a prerequisite for approving the deal.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has insisted that Israel will not end the war until Hamas is destroyed.

The proposed three-phase deal includes “an immediate and full” ceasefire in Gaza in the first six-week phase and “upon agreement of the parties and a permanent end to hostilities” in the second phase.

Through these two phases, captives held in Gaza, including the deceased, will be released in exchange for Palestinian prisoners. Additionally, Israeli forces will gradually fully withdraw from Gaza by the second phase.

The third phase focuses on Gaza reconstruction while ensuring the return of the remains of any deceased captives.

Egypt, Qatar, and the United States, which have mediated between Israel and Hamas to reach a truce over the past months, have jointly called on Hamas and Israel to finalize the agreement embodying the principles outlined by Biden.

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Ahmed Abu-Zeid has called for both parties to demonstrate the highest levels of responsibility and seriousness to end the war in Gaza, warning that missing out on the US-backed deal will diminish prospects for solutions.

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