Hamas chief accuses Israel of using negotiations to prolong war on Gaza

Ahram Online , Friday 31 May 2024

The chief political leader of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh on Friday accused Israel of using negotiations as a strategy to continue the war on Gaza, stressing the movement's adherence to all paths that protect the Palestinian people, and stop the "aggression" completely.

 Ismail Haniyeh
File photo: Chief political leader of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh . AFP


Speaking at the Arab National Conference in the Lebanese capital Beirut, Haniyeh said Hamas had informed mediators from Egypt and Qatar that "its established rules cannot be waived," which include the cessation of the "aggression," and the complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Gaza Strip, China's news agency Xinhua reported.

Hamas's position also includes the lifting of the Israeli siege, the reconstruction of the Palestinian territory, and the implementation of "a complete prisoner swap deal."

Israeli public broadcaster Kan reported on Tuesday that Israel had handed over a document outlining its proposal to Qatar and Egypt to resume negotiations for a prisoner-captive exchange with Hamas and to achieve a ceasefire in Gaza.

The previous round of ceasefire negotiations in the Gaza Strip, which took place in Egypt, collapsed earlier this month.

Fighting continued in the southernmost Gazan city of Rafah despite international condemnations of the Israeli offensive.

According to satellite imagery and videos analyzed by The Washington Post, Israeli occupation forces have begun to push into Rafah’s most populated areas in recent days.

The Israeli invasion, launched on May 6, has progressed slowly, but has already radically altered the geography of the Rafah area, displaced more than a million Palestinians, and resulted in one of the most horrific strikes of the war.

The media office in Gaza on Friday warned of an unprecedented humanitarian disaster in the enclave due to the closure of land crossings.

"We warn of the intensification of the food, water, and medicine crises and the worsening of famine and thirst due to the Israeli army's ban on bringing aid and fuel into the Gaza Strip, and we hold it fully responsible for an imminent humanitarian disaster," the office said in a press statement.

It added all crossings and exits leading to the Gaza Strip had been closed by the Israeli army for the past 24 days, preventing 22,000 wounded and sick people from seeking treatment outside Gaza, the office said.

Moreover, the statement highlighted that more than 98 percent of Gaza's bakeries had ceased operations due to a lack of cooking gas, while more than 700 water wells had been shut down.


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