US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken arrived in Israel as part of his fifth visit to the region, while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated his commitment to continue the war in the Gaza Strip, hours after the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) responded. Proposing a framework for peace and prisoner exchange.
Blinken is scheduled to meet with Israeli officials today, Wednesday, to discuss the Gaza prisoner exchange agreement, the conduct of Israeli military operations in the Strip and Israel's approach to the next phase.
The Hamas movement announced that it had given its response to the framework agreement to Qatar and Egypt after consulting leaders of the movement, in addition to resistance groups.
The movement said it dealt with the proposal in a positive spirit to ensure a comprehensive ceasefire, end aggression, lifting of the siege and exchange of prisoners.
The French news agency reported that Hamas's demands included a comprehensive ceasefire and the release of a large number of Palestinian prisoners, including prominent figures, in exchange for the release of Israeli prisoners held in Gaza since the beginning of Operation al-Aqsa. Flood on 7 October.
US President Joe Biden said there was “some movement” towards an agreement to release Israeli detainees, describing Hamas's response as “somewhat exaggerated”, but said negotiations would continue.
an extended ceasefire
Earlier, John Kirby, coordinator of strategic policies at the US National Security Council, had said, “We are trying to reach a long pause in the agreement that is being worked on.”
He said in his speech: “We aim for an agreement that includes stopping the war for the long term.”
He said a longer pause would allow for the release of detainees, the entry of aid, and a reduction in violence levels in general.
Blinken stressed that the United States will continue to use all its tools to reach an extended cease-fire, during which detainees in Gaza will be released, adding that Washington is prepared to pursue any diplomatic path forward. Also committed to using the ceasefire. Just and lasting peace.
He also said he would make every effort to renew and extend the ceasefire in Gaza and to discuss a framework agreement with Israel for the release of detainees.
Blinken expressed Washington's appreciation for the partnership with Qatar and its essential role, which he described as indispensable in mediation.
But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu anticipated Blinken's meeting by insisting the war would continue “until the destruction of Hamas.”
The Associated Press stated that Hamas's two main demands are a complete ceasefire, an end to aggression against the Palestinian people, and the release of key Palestinian prisoners.
The agency indicated that Netanyahu rejected Hamas's demands, and stressed that Israel is committed to continuing its attack until “complete victory” over Hamas and the return of all its captives. He also rejected the US call for the establishment of a Palestinian state.
Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper quoted unnamed Israeli officials as saying that Hamas said yes to the outline, but put forward impossible conditions.
According to officials, Israel will not stop fighting, and they said that Hamas' response appears to be a “negative response” under the current circumstances.
Since October 7, Israeli forces have been waging a devastating war on the Gaza Strip, which has resulted in the martyrdom of more than 27,000, the majority of whom were women and children, in addition to the complete destruction of cities and the displacement and starvation of residents. ,