Muhhamed Nazzal, a senior member of Hamas’s political bureau, outlined the group’s counterproposal to a draft truce deal worked on by Qatar, Egypt, Israel, and the United States.
“The proposal was received by Hamas following the Paris conference and Hamas’s response was more specific and provided deadlines. These timelines were specified by Hamas itself,” Nazzal told Al Jazeera.
“Among these details, none can be compromised. The Israeli killing machine must be brought to a halt. We wish to see Israeli occupation forces withdrawal from the Gaza Strip entirely. Our response is realistic and our demands are reasonable.”
He said Hamas fears the Israelis are “not seriously committed to this deal”, and that is why it put the permanent ceasefire in the second stage of the agreement – just to see if they are.
Nazzal says five parties have been chosen to act as “guarantors” if a truce deal with the Israelis comes to fruition: Qatar, Egypt, Turkey, Russia, and the United Nations.
“We expect a negotiation to start. Once it starts, any obstacles can be ironed out along the way to reach a final agreement, whereby we can dot the Is and cross the Ts,” Nazzal told Al Jazeera.
He responded sharply when asked about President Joe Biden’s comment that his group’s counterproposal was “a little over the top”.
“We do not expect the American president to come up with a better statement. He is totally biased and was part of the war waged on Gaza. He provided the political and legal cover for the Israelis and has supported all of Netanyahu’s moves. They worked hand in hand, providing military and financial assistance.
“We expect the US administration to come up with a final decision: Are they willing for the war to continue? Or do they want a permanent ceasefire?”
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