Thu 13 Jun 2024 8:47 am - Jerusalem Time

Israeli demonstrations and families of prisoners: Hamas’ response is part of the negotiation process

Hundreds of Israelis demonstrated in Tel Aviv and closed the street opposite the Ministry of Defense headquarters, demanding that the government conclude an immediate prisoner exchange deal.

Meanwhile, the Association of Families of Israeli Prisoners Detained in Gaza said that Hamas’ response is an integral part of the negotiation process, and this is another step to passing the deal.

The demonstrators raised banners holding Benjamin Netanyahu's government responsible for the fate of the detained prisoners.

The city of Raanana (north of Tel Aviv) also witnessed a similar demonstration to pressure decision-makers to send the security negotiating team to fill the gaps in the negotiation process.

The Prisoners' Families Association expressed its support for US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken's position on the possibility of bridging the gaps between Israel and Hamas regarding the deal proposal.

In this context, Israeli Channel 12 said, quoting one of the officials, that there is still a chance for an agreement regarding the detainees, indicating that the matter depends largely on the American side, as he said.

The fastest way

Earlier, the US Secretary of State confirmed that the current deal proposal represents the fastest and most effective way to reach a sustainable ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

Blinken explained - in an exclusive interview with Al Jazeera - that President Joe Biden presented the features of his proposal 12 days ago, and it received support from the United Nations, the League of Arab States, and all countries in the region, including Israel and the Palestinian Authority, but the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) was late in submitting its response, “which "It came last night through mediators, and it was not with the approval expressed by the other parties."

The American minister said that Hamas is seeking to amend some of the provisions “that it had previously accepted,” indicating that some of them are applicable, and others are not, and this is what the mediators are currently considering, with everyone awaiting Hamas’ decision.

Blinken refrained from going into the details of the proposal, but he stressed that it is very similar to the proposal that Hamas agreed to on May 6, and he sees no reason why it should not accept it now.

However, he said that the most important provisions of the proposal are an immediate ceasefire, the withdrawal of Israeli forces from residential areas in Gaza, and an increase in humanitarian aid to the Strip.

Some provisions also stipulate the return of Palestinians in Gaza to their homes, and the commitment of both parties to negotiate within the first six weeks to reach a permanent ceasefire, considering that this is the fastest and most effective path to achieving a sustainable calm between the two sides.

The US Secretary of State added that everything changed during the 12 days it took for Hamas to respond, as the suffering of the Palestinians increased day after day, stressing the necessity of a ceasefire now.

Regarding his talks with the Israeli Prime Minister, he said that it was reaffirmed that Israel accepts the proposal at the negotiating table.

Blinken stressed that his country, Qatar and Egypt's support for the proposal represents the best guarantee to reassure both parties, in addition to the support of the entire international community for this agreement in a rare precedent that reflects the world's insistence on ending the war.

Hamas responded

For its part, the Hamas movement said that it showed the positivity required to reach a comprehensive and satisfactory agreement based on the just demands of the Palestinian people, directing sharp criticism at the Biden administration and his foreign minister.

Hamas confirmed in a statement that while the US Secretary of State continues to talk about Israel’s approval of President Biden’s proposal, no Israeli official has been heard talking about this approval.

It pointed out that the world did not hear any welcome or approval from Israel to the Security Council resolution calling for a ceasefire.

Hamas pointed out that Blinken’s positions, which “try to exonerate the occupation, are a continuation of the American policy of complicity in the brutal war of extermination,” and called on the American minister and the Biden administration to put pressure on the occupation government, “which is determined to complete the mission of killing and extermination.”


Share your opinion

Israeli demonstrations and families of prisoners: Hamas’ response is part of the negotiation process