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Gaza war: Hamas: There are still obstacles to the Gaza ceasefire

Gaza war: Hamas: There are still obstacles to the Gaza ceasefire

For weeks, mediators have been trying to achieve at least a temporary ceasefire in the Gaza war. According to US information, Israel is on board – only Hamas’s approval is still pending.

According to the Islamist Hamas, there are still obstacles in the indirect negotiations about a temporary ceasefire in the Gaza war and the release of further hostages. The Israeli side is responsible for this, a Hamas representative in Beirut, who did not want to be named, told the German Press Agency on Sunday night. The main obstacle is the time limit for a ceasefire. Israel is maneuvering around the issue, it was said. Senior representatives of the US government, which, together with Qatar and Egypt, mediate between Israel and Hamas, said on Saturday that the framework for a possible agreement was in place and that the Israelis had “more or less accepted” it. A possible agreement depends solely on Hamas.

According to information from the Egyptian television station Al Qahera News TV, the mediation talks about a ceasefire are scheduled to continue this Sunday in Cairo. A day later, Israeli Minister Benny Gantz, a member of the War Cabinet, is expected to hold talks with US Vice President Kamala Harris at the White House, as the New York Times reported on Saturday (local time). Harris is expected to speak with Gantz about the urgency of a hostage release agreement that would allow a temporary ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, as well as the need for more food and aid for Palestinian civilians, it said.

The Hamas official said they were in contact with mediators and remained committed to finding a solution “to end the aggression against our people.”

Conversations are ongoing

According to the US government, the possible agreement on the release of hostages and a temporary ceasefire in the Gaza war depends solely on the Islamist Hamas.

The framework for such a deal is in place and the Israelis have “more or less accepted” it, said high-ranking US government officials in Washington. “The Israelis have fundamentally agreed to the elements of the agreement. Now the ball is in Hamas’s court.”

The US representatives emphasized that the talks were still ongoing. Significant progress has been made in the past few weeks. But there is still no agreement. The aim is still to achieve this if possible by the beginning of Ramadan. The festival period, which is particularly sacred to Muslims, begins around March 10th.

Ceasefire and hostage release

The international mediators in the Gaza war are working hard behind the scenes to secure a temporary ceasefire and the release of hostages. According to US information, a six-week ceasefire and the release of certain hostages – the sick, the injured, the elderly and women – are planned. Cautiously optimistic signals have recently come from the USA and Qatar, which together with Egypt facilitate indirect negotiations between Israel and the Islamist Hamas.

The Gaza war was triggered by an unprecedented massacre carried out by terrorists from Hamas and other extremist groups in southern Israel on October 7th. On the Israeli side, more than 1,200 people were killed. Israel responded with massive air strikes and a ground offensive in the Gaza Strip. The number of people killed there has risen to more than 30,000 since the start of the war, according to the Hamas-controlled health authority.

More than 200 people were forcibly abducted during the attack on Israel. Some of them have since been released, but dozens are still in the hands of Hamas.

Source: Stern

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