June 6, 2024 | Flash Brief

Seventeen Countries Urge Hamas to Accept Ceasefire Proposal

June 6, 2024 | Flash Brief

Seventeen Countries Urge Hamas to Accept Ceasefire Proposal

Latest Developments

The United States and 16 other countries whose citizens are being held captive by Hamas in Gaza signed a statement on June 6 calling on the Iran-backed terror organization to accept the ceasefire proposal outlined by President Joe Biden on May 31. The signatories include Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Spain, Thailand, and the United Kingdom — all countries whose citizens were among those abducted during the October 7 Hamas atrocities in southern Israel. “We call on Hamas to close this agreement, that Israel is ready to move forward with, and begin the process of releasing our citizens,” the joint statement declared. “At this decisive moment, we call on the leaders of Israel as well as Hamas to make whatever final compromises are necessary to close this deal and bring relief to the families of our hostages.”

On May 31, President Joe Biden laid out the terms of a three-phase ceasefire proposal that would entail Hamas’s release of all hostages in exchange for a permanent end of hostilities in Gaza. White House Middle East Advisor Brett McGurk and CIA Director William Burns subsequently traveled to Doha on June 4 to hold meetings with Egyptian and Qatari mediators. The Egyptians and Qataris met separately with senior Hamas officials in Doha on June 5.

Expert Analysis

“Anyone who says that Qatar and Egypt will push Hamas to engage in ‘good-faith negotiations’ with Israel is either defrauding the public, completely ignorant, or pro-Hamas. Hamas bound and burned whole families. Good faith negotiations? Sell crazy someplace else.” — Richard Goldberg, FDD Senior Advisor

“If Biden wants a ceasefire, he should throw his weight fully behind Israel destroying Hamas. Unless Hamas feels the pressure, it will not negotiate in good faith. Squeezing its ally, Israel, will only embolden Hamas’s rejectionism and continued war crimes.” — David May, FDD Research Manager and Senior Research Analyst

Hostage Talks Ongoing

White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan told NBC on June 5 that Israel “reconfirmed as recently as today that the proposal is still on the table and it is up to Hamas to accept it.” The same day, Hamas political chief Ismail Haniyeh said that Hamas will “deal seriously and positively with any agreement” that involves “an ending of the aggression,” Israel’s complete withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, and the exchange of hostages for Palestinian terrorists held in Israeli jails. However, another senior Hamas official told Reuters that the terrorist group “had told the mediators” that the proposal as it currently stands is not “acceptable to us.”

Hamas Rejects Successive Deal Proposals

A week-long ceasefire in November — during which Hamas released 81 Israeli hostages in exchange for 240 Palestinian prisoners — collapsed after the terror organization resumed launching rockets at Israel. Hamas rejected proposals for a new ceasefire in December and January. Israel agreed on March 23 to pause its counteroffensive in Gaza for six weeks and release approximately 700 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for 40 Israeli hostages, but Hamas rejected that offer three days later. Israeli officials claimed that Hamas had sabotaged negotiations by trying to turn the proposed ceasefire into the restoration of the status quo before the war.

On March 29, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu greenlighted another round of Egyptian- and Qatari-mediated talks, giving the Israeli negotiating team what his office described as “room to operate.” Jerusalem accepted the proposal that came out of those discussions, but Hamas rejected it on April 4, restating its maximalist position instead. Hamas rejected yet another ceasefire proposal on April 13 as Iran launched its unprecedented drone and missile attack against the Jewish state.

Biden Announces Israeli Ceasefire Proposal to End Gaza War,” FDD Flash Brief

One-Third of Hostages in Gaza Believed Dead,” FDD Flash Brief

Hamas Obstructs Hostage Negotiations,” FDD Flash Brief

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Israel Israel at War Military and Political Power