Hamas Rejects Presence Of Any Israeli Forces In The Gaza Strip Area!

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Hamas fighters in Gaza

SENIOR Hamas official Osama Hamdan has welcomed the general ceasefire plan proposed by US president Joe Biden, saying it contained ‘positive ideas’.

Hamdan reiterated his Movement’s rejection of any presence of Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip or at the Rafah border crossing in any potential deal, stressing that the Palestinian interior ministry administered the Rafah crossing before the war and would continue to do so after the war ends.

‘There is no initiative. President Biden talked about ideas, and general ideas do not mean that an understanding could be reached. They are a general framework containing many details that were discussed over the past four months,’ Hamdan said.

‘We already had a clear position and responded positively to such efforts and mediation. We accepted the final proposal that was presented by the mediators and approved by the US, but the Americans failed to oblige and convince the Israeli side to accept the paper, which led all the efforts that had been made in this regard to collapse,’ Hamdan said.

Hamdan stressed the need for a crystal-clear agreement that achieves a complete halt to the war, the withdrawal of the occupation forces from Gaza, the flow of aid and the reconstruction of the besieged territory.

The Secretary-General of the Palestinian National Initiative Movement, Mustafa Al-Barghouthi, said that US President Joe Biden’s announcement of an Israeli ceasefire proposal in Gaza is an acknowledgement of failure of the Israeli war on Gaza.

‘This represents an acknowledgement of the failure of the Israeli war goals of ethnic cleansing, uprooting the resistance, imposing control on the Gaza Strip, and bringing back Israeli captives without a prisoner exchange agreement.

He warned of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s manoeuvres, demanding ending the entire war, the withdrawal of Israeli occupation army from the Gaza Strip and starting reconstruction.

He stressed: ‘It is now the time to form a unified Palestinian national leadership and a temporary national reconciliation government to ensure the West Bank and Strip are united to thwart Israel’s plans and prepare for free democratic elections.’

Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir threatened to quit and collapse the governing coalition if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agrees to Biden’s Gaza ceasefire proposal.

Smotrich said he told Netanyahu he would ‘not be part of a government that agrees to the proposed outline and ends the war without destroying Hamas and bringing back all the hostages’.

Ben-Gvir said: ‘The deal means the end of the war and the abandonment of the goal to destroy Hamas. This is a reckless deal, which constitutes a victory for terrorism and a security threat to the State of Israel’ and vowed to ‘dissolve the government’ rather than agree to the proposal.

Tens of thousands of people rallied in Tel Aviv on Saturday demanding the Israeli government to accept Biden’s plan, with many also demanding Netanyahu’s resignation.

Scuffles broke out between protesters and police, who used mounted officers and water cannon to disperse the crowds. Some demonstrators were detained.

In a statement after Biden unveiled the plan, Netanyahu insisted Israel’s ‘conditions for ending the war have not changed’.

It listed these as ‘the destruction of Hamas military and governing capabilities, the freeing of all hostages and ensuring that Gaza no longer poses a threat to Israel’, adding Israel would ‘continue to insist these conditions are met’ before agreeing to a permanent ceasefire.