Israel backs Gaza ceasefire proposal, Hamas wants ‘insignificant’ changes

"World should encourage militant Palestinian group to accept proposal, avoid stalemate" says Sullivan

Reuters June 14, 2024
Palestinians inspect the damages after Israeli forces raid in Jabalia refugee camp in the northern Gaza Strip, May 30, 2024. PHOTO: REUTERS


Israel is standing behind a ceasefire proposal for the eight-month-old war in the Gaza Strip, White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said on Thursday, and the goal is to bridge gaps with Hamas and get to a deal soon.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a Group of Seven (G7) meeting of leaders in southern Italy, Sullivan said the world should encourage the militant Palestinian group to accept the proposal and avoid stalemate.

Meanwhile, senior Hamas leader told Reuters on Thursday the changes that Hamas has requested to a ceasefire proposal by the United States are “not significant” and include the complete withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Gaza Strip.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday that Hamas had proposed numerous changes, some unworkable, to the US-backed proposal, but that mediators were determined to close the gaps. The US has said Israel has accepted its proposal, but Israel has not publicly stated that.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly said Israel will not commit to ending its campaign before Hamas is eliminated.

The senior Hamas leader said his organisation had demanded to choose a list of 100 Palestinians with long sentences to be released from Israeli jails. The Israeli document had excluded 100 prisoners with long sentences and restricted releases to only prisoners with sentences of less than 15 years remaining, the Hamas official said.

“There are no significant amendments that, according to Hamas leadership, warrant objection,” said the Hamas leader. The group’s demands also include the reconstruction of Gaza; the lifting of the blockade, including opening border crossings; allowing the movement of people; and transporting goods without restrictions,” the senior Hamas leader said.


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