‘We Need a Clear Position’ – Osama Hamdan on Ceasefire Talks

Top Hamas official Osama Hamdan in an interview with CNN. (Photo: video grab)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Hamas called on the Biden administration to pressure the Israeli government, accusing it of continuing a mission of killing and extermination. 

In an interview with CNN, top Hamas official in Lebanon Osama Hamdan stated on Thursday that the movement requires a clear and definitive position from Israel to agree to a ceasefire in Gaza. 

He emphasized that statements from US Secretary of State Antony Blinken about Israeli approval of the latest proposal are insufficient, unless confirmed by Israeli officials.

We need to see facts on the ground. We need to know what exactly the (US) President (Joe Biden) means by saying a ceasefire and a withdrawal,” Hamdan said.

“We need a clear position from Israel to accept the ceasefire, a complete withdrawal from Gaza and let the Palestinians determine their future by themselves,” he added.

Hamdan explained that the military operation on October 7 was a response to Israeli occupation, asserting that Israel is responsible for the fate of detainees and that there is no clear information on the number of prisoners still alive.

Responding to US President Joe Biden’s claim that Hamas is the main obstacle to a ceasefire and the release of detainees, the movement maintained that it maintained a positive stance on Biden’s speech but had only heard war rhetoric from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Hamas called on the Biden administration to pressure the Israeli government, accusing it of continuing a mission of killing and extermination. 

“If the US Administration acts in a positive way, not only in the eyes of Israel, we can reach soon an agreement.”

The movement noted that while Blinken mentioned Israel’s approval of the latest proposal, no such approval had been heard from any Israeli official. 

The Netanyahu government’s rejection of a permanent ceasefire contradicts the United Nations Security Council resolution and Biden’s initiative.

Hamas reiterated that it agreed to the proposal from mediators on May 6, but Netanyahu responded with an attack on Rafah. Although the movement welcomed the Security Council resolution, it pointed out that Israel had not officially approved it.

‘Political Reasons’ – Gantz Accuses Netanyahu of Obstructing Prisoner Exchange Deal

Since Hamas delivered its response to Biden’s proposal last Tuesday, based on the Israeli War Council plan involving a three-stage prisoner exchange and a ceasefire, the US administration has accused the movement of obstructing an agreement and making unworkable demands.

Hamas clarified through one of its leaders in a statement to Reuters that the amendments it requested were minor. They included the complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza, assurances that Israel would end the conflict and not resume fighting after the initial truce phase, and reservations about excluding 100 Palestinian prisoners with high sentences from the Israeli list, and limiting the remaining sentence period to no more than 15 years.

Ongoing Genocide

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7. 

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 37,266 Palestinians have been killed, and 85,102 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 7,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip. 

Child Dies of Malnutrition in Central Gaza, Death Toll Rises to 40 

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli war has resulted in an acute famine, mostly in northern Gaza, resulting in the death of many Palestinians, mostly children. 

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire’.

(PC, AJA)

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