Hamas: Premature Optimism from Biden on Ceasefire

Hamas, the Palestinian militant group, has expressed reservations regarding the potential for an imminent ceasefire with Israel following President Biden’s recent statement suggesting such an agreement was close at hand.

Senior Hamas leader Osama Hamdan criticized the leaked details of a prospective deal being discussed in Paris, alleging that it is a tactic aimed at weakening the Palestinian people by applying pressure. Hamdan warned that the proposed draft agreement would allow Israel to prepare for further attacks on Gaza.

In a statement shared on pro-Iranian channels, Hamdan emphasized that their priority remains halting aggression, ending the siege, and facilitating aid, dismissing the Paris draft agreement as mere propaganda that fails to address their core objectives.

Hamas officials also highlighted significant gaps in negotiations, indicating that substantial hurdles remain unresolved. Meanwhile, Qatar, a key mediator between Israel and Hamas, acknowledged ongoing talks but indicated that a formal agreement is yet to be reached, albeit expressing optimism for future progress.

The proposed Paris agreement reportedly includes a 40-day truce, contingent upon the release of 40 hostages held by Hamas in Gaza in exchange for 400 Palestinians incarcerated in Israeli prisons.

President Biden had expressed hope for a ceasefire agreement to commence the following week, with his national security advisor underscoring progress made in talks involving representatives from Israel, the United States, Egypt, and Qatar.

While Israel and Hamas previously agreed to a temporary ceasefire and a prisoner exchange in November, they remain deadlocked over a more comprehensive resolution, with Hamas pushing for a permanent ceasefire while Israel continues to advocate for military action.

The conflict in Gaza has resulted in a significant death toll among Palestinians, with Hamas health officials reporting nearly 30,000 casualties. Civilians in the region are facing dire challenges accessing basic necessities like food and water.

Israel’s threat to advance into the southern city of Rafah by March 10 raises concerns, particularly as more than a million civilians are sheltering in the area. Israeli leaders have vowed to eradicate Hamas from all parts of Gaza in response to previous attacks, including the killing of 1,200 people in southern Israel and the abduction of over 240 others, some of whom remain captive in Gaza.