Hamas seeks lifting of siege, guarantors in proposed ceasefire amendments

Mohamed Badereldin, Thursday 13 Jun 2024

Hamas has proposed some changes to the US ceasefire plan, to ensure the completion of the deal to end the Israeli war and a quicker return to normal life in the besieged Gaza strip, according to an exclusive report by Majalla.

Israeli soldiers operate inside the Gaza Strip, as seen from southern Israel. AP


Ismail Hanyeh, the chief of the political office of Hamas, handed the amendments on Tuesday to Mohamed bin Abdelrahman, the Qatari prime minister.

The Palestinian resistance group reaffrimed its position that a ceasefire agreement should completely end the the siege of Gaza, with the amendment reading: “Ending the complete siege of the Gaza Strip, opening all border crossings, especially the Rafah crossing, and facilitating the movement of people and goods around the clock in all areas.”

The amendments also address the need for a “complete withdrawal” of Israeli occupation forces from the Rafah crossing. 

They include the immediate withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Philadelphi corridor, a 14-kilometre strip which runs all along the Gaza-Egypt border. 

Hamas added the phrase "including the Philadelphi corridor" to the locations that Israeli troops should vacate in the amended ceasefire agreement.

Hamas is also demanding that the United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA) to be allowed to play its role in housing displaced people, and providing aid, in addition to the inclusion of other guarantors to the deal, such as China, Russia, and Turkey alongside the US, Qatar, and Egypt.  

The UN should also be a gaurator of the ceasefire agreement, should the amendments made by Hamas be accepted.

The palestinian group is also pressing for a written guarantee promising a complete ceasefire and withdrawal of Israeli troops from the strip.

It is also proposing a plan to rebuild the Gaza Strip within 3-5 years as part of the amendments.

The demands also require Israel to supply electricity to the besieged Gaza strip around the clock.

Hamas is also seeking that the status of Palestinian detainees held by Israel, including those detained after the start of the Israeli war on Gaza, return to pre-war conditions, according to the changes listed by Majalla. 

US President Biden has presented what he labeled an Israeli three-phase plan that would end the devastating Israeli war, free all captives, and lead to the reconstruction of the Gaza strip, which was leveled by Israeli forces.

Hamas this week accepted the broad outline but requested “amendments," but Israel has not embraced it.

The Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has publicly disputed aspects of the plan, raising questions about Tel Aviv's commitment to what the US says is an Israeli proposal.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who just finished his eighth visit to the region since the start of the Israeli war on Gaza, told reporters in Qatar on Wednesday that the negotiations will continue.

But he said Hamas had requested “numerous” changes, adding that “ some of the changes are workable; some are not.”

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