Hamas Urges ‘Superpower Americans & Europeans’ to Put More Pressure on Netanyahu

On Saturday Mossad chief David Barnea and his American counterpart, Bill Burns, left Doha following the latest round of talks on Israel-Hamas truce efforts. Regional reports say progress is still stalled, but negotiators are said to be getting down to “details and a ratio for the exchange of hostages and prisoners.”

Currently there’s heavy fighting as Israeli forces have encircled hospitals in Khan Younis. A major Israeli assault at al-Shifa hospital reportedly resulted in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) capturing some 800 Hamas suspects, including commanders. The IDF further said that at least 170 Hamas gunmen were killed in the weekend raid.

As major battles ensue at Khan Younis, and as Prime Minister Netanyahu is readying the military to go into Rafah even amid Washington objections, Hamas is complaining about “misinformation” emerging from the Qatar-hosted truce talks.

Hamas has said the Israeli side is refusing to take its conditions seriously, with Israeli negotiators only focusing on the release of all the hostages and not Hamas’ demand of a ‘total withdrawal’ of Israeli troops from the strip and a permanent end to the war.

Hamas’s political bureau official Bassem Naim saod “Hamas has clearly told the mediators that we cannot accept negotiating any prisoner deal unless the Israelis give these guarantees.”

Interestingly it appears that Hamas is seeking to use current strained relations between Washington and Tel Aviv as leverage. The Hamas representative further echoed talking points of anti-Netanyahu demonstrators in Israel as well:

Naim said it was “shocking” that the latest Israeli proposals retract points previously agreed on at prior talks, the news agency reported. 

“Now suddenly, the Israelis are rejecting these. We believe it is not about a ceasefire, it is about Netanyahu using the negotiations as a cover to gain more time to continue his plans for the complete bombardment of the rest of the Gaza Strip, including Rafah, and to relieve international pressure,” said Naim.

“We told the negotiators tonight we’re not ready to discuss any further proposals. There are talks between the Israelis and the negotiators. There are no talks with us,” he continued.

He said the West must exert more pressure: “It is up to the superpower Americans and Europeans to exercise more pressure on Netanyahu not endanger the whole region and undermine any chance of long-term stability, security and prosperity,” Naim said.

In the meantime, Israeli hostages continue to die in captivity, with Hamas announcing the death of a 34-year-old Israeli captive on Sunday, identified as Yagev Buchshtav. The group said this was due to “lack of medicine and food”. A Hamas statement said, “We had previously warned that enemy prisoners are suffering from the same conditions that our people are suffering from.” 


Zero Hedges

Related Articles

Back to top button