Israeli government accused of trying to sabotage Gaza ceasefire proposal

Israeli government accused of trying to sabotage Gaza ceasefire proposal

The Guardian reports:

The Israeli government has been accused of attempting to sabotage a US-backed ceasefire proposal, according to Israeli media, by introducing new demands despite previously accepting the plan.

Hopes for a ceasefire in Gaza had risen in recent days following reports that Hamas had given initial approval for a new proposal for a phased deal, after ninth months of war since the attack on 7 October.

Egyptian officials and representatives of Hamas said the Islamist militant organisation had dropped a key demand that Israel commit to a definitive end to the war before any pause in hostilities, Reuters and the Associated Press reported.

Two Hamas officials told Reuters they were now waiting for a response from Israel, where protesters took to the streets on Sunday to press the government to reach an accord to bring back the hostages still being held in Gaza.

However, David Barnea, the chief of the Mossad foreign intelligence service, who was dispatched over the weekend to Qatar, where talks are being held, was reported to have provided the mediators with a list of new reservations, according to Israeli media.

The Haaretz newspaper cited a source familiar with the details as saying Israel’s new demands were expected to delay negotiations, and that it was not clear whether Hamas would accede to them.

“Hamas has already agreed to the latest position presented by Israel,” the source told Haaretz. “But in Friday’s meeting, Israel presented some new points it demands that Hamas accept.” [Continue reading…]

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