June 11, 2024 | Flash Brief

Hamas Hedges on Gaza Truce Proposal

June 11, 2024 | Flash Brief

Hamas Hedges on Gaza Truce Proposal

Latest Developments

Hamas signaled its qualified acceptance of a U.S.-promoted plan to wind down the Gaza war on June 11. Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken tried to drum up regional pressure on the Palestinian terrorist group.

Sami Abu Zuhri, a senior Hamas official outside the Gaza Strip, said the group “accepts” the ceasefire proposal and “is ready to negotiate over the details,” noting that Hamas welcomes a June 10 UN Security Council resolution approving it. However, Abi Zuhri added that the proposal is “biased to Israel” and that negotiations would “require a formula stipulating the total withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza and a swap of hostages held in Gaza for Palestinians jailed in Israel,” according to Reuters.

Fourteen out of 15 UN Security Council members voted in favor of the resolution, approving the three-phase ceasefire proposal presented by U.S. President Joe Biden on May 31.

Expert Analysis

“Hamas has for weeks been semi-officially courted by Washington as a diplomatic interlocutor. The terror group has learned the ‘yes, but’ tactic of time-buying. Though Blinken may sound relieved to have scored some traction with the Doha wing of the terrorist group, he knows that it is Hamas’s leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, who calls the shots. And as the Wall Street Journal recently demonstrated in a stunning June 10 exposé, Sinwar is happily bathing in the bloodshed he wrought and would see any ceasefire as a means of declaring victory over Israel.” Mark Dubowitz, FDD CEO

“Once again, Israel has agreed to a U.S.-brokered ceasefire deal, and once again, Hamas is prevaricating. The terrorists who glorified the wholesale rape, mutilation, and murder of Israelis are teaching the world that taking hostages is the best way to gain leverage over a superior military force. Sadly, the international community is playing into Hamas’s hands by attempting to restrain Israel militarily while allowing the terrorists to call the shots at the UN.” Enia Krivine, Senior Director of FDD’s Israel Program and National Security Network

“According to the UN Security Council resolution, a ceasefire would remain in place so long as negotiations are ongoing. Hamas could therefore drag out talks, regrouping and rebuilding during the ceasefire, without actually returning the hostages. This is a major flaw that Hamas will look to exploit.” David May, FDD Research Manager and Senior Research Analyst

Israel Demands Hamas’s Disarmament

Blinken, during his eighth visit to the region since the war erupted on October 7, described Abu Zuhri’s statement as a “hopeful sign,” but noted that the view of the Hamas leadership in Gaza is decisive. On a first stop in Cairo, Blinken said that Arab leaders should “press” Hamas to enter the deal.

Jerusalem insists that any Gaza truce and return of hostages held by Hamas be followed by the dismantling and disarming of the Iran-backed terrorist group before the war can be ended. “The proposal presented enables Israel to achieve these goals and Israel will indeed do so,” an Israeli official said.

Blinken in Israel Amid Talk of Side Deal on American Hostages Held in Gaza,” FDD Flash Brief

IDF Liberates Four Hostages Abducted By Hamas On October 7,” FDD Flash Brief

Seventeen Countries Urge Hamas to Accept Ceasefire Proposal,” FDD Flash Brief

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

Issues:

International Organizations Israel Israel at War Military and Political Power