Hamas Chief Accuses Israel Of Procrastination In Truce Talks

Hamas’s conditions for peace include permanent ceasefire, full Israeli withdrawal from Gaza (File)

Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh accused Israel on Wednesday of procrastinating in stalled talks to secure a ceasefire in the Gaza war and a hostage release deal.

Recent negotiations have made little progress and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said the Palestinian Hamas group has hardened its position.

“The Zionist occupation continues to procrastinate stubbornly, and does not respond to our fair demands for an end to the war and aggression,” Haniyeh said in a recorded speech shown at a Hezbollah meeting.

Netanyahu’s office said on Tuesday that Israel’s negotiating team had returned from another round of discussions in Cairo.

“In the framework of the talks, under useful Egyptian mediation, the mediators formulated an updated proposal for Hamas,” the premier’s office said.

However, senior Hamas official Bassem Naim said on Tuesday that the group had not been sent any new proposals.

“The movement has not received any proposals from the mediators or the occupation (Israel) regarding a ceasefire and a prisoner exchange deal”, he said.

In his speech shown on Wednesday ahead of comments from Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, the Qatar-based Haniyeh reiterated Hamas’s conditions for peace.

These include a permanent ceasefire, a full Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, the return of displaced Gazans, unhindered entry of aid, full reconstruction of the war-ravaged territory, and “a respectable prisoner exchange deal.”

Haniyeh also denounced what he said was “direct American participation” in the war in Gaza by supplying weapons and ammunition to the Israeli military.

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