Hamas announces it will resume negotiations after examining Israeli truce proposal

CAIRO – The Islamist movement Hamas, which since the end of April has been studying its response to a proposed truce with Israel in Loop, announced this Friday that on Saturday it will send a delegation to Cairo to resume the talkswith a “positive spirit.”

“The Hamas delegation will travel to Cairo tomorrow, Saturday, to continue talks. We highlight the positive spirit in which Hamas leaders treated the recently received ceasefire proposal and we will Cairo with the same spirit to reach an agreement,” the terrorist group declared in a statement.

The truce plan includes a cessation of fighting for 40 days and an exchange of Israeli hostages who have been held hostage in Gaza since October 7 for Palestinian prisoners in Israel.

But Hamas, which has ruled Gaza since 2007, demands a permanent ceasefire and the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Gaza Strip.

“Hamas and the Palestinian resistance forces are determined to reach an agreement that meets our people's demands for a complete cessation of aggression, the withdrawal of occupation forces, the return of the displaced, relief and reconstruction, and a serious exchange agreement,” the terrorist group indicates in the statement.

The truce would be the first since the one established for a week in late November, which allowed an exchange of 105 Israeli hostages in Gaza for 240 Palestinians imprisoned in Israel.

A senior Hamas political official on Friday accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of trying to obstruct negotiations with his public statements reiterating his determination to order an invasion of Rafah in southern Gaza.

Netanyahu “is not interested in an agreement and that is why he makes statements (…), to frustrate efforts,” added the leader of the terrorist group, Hosam Badran.

Rafah, last stronghold of Hamas

The Israeli president affirms that Rafah is the last bastion of the Hamas commandos and that Israel will not be able to proclaim victory until there is a ground operation in that city, where 1.5 million Palestinians are crowded, the vast majority displaced by war.

“We will enter Rafah and eliminate the Hamas battalions, with or without (truce) agreement, to achieve total victory,” Netanyahu declared Tuesday.

The war broke out on October 7 after a raid by Hamas commandos that killed 1,170 people, mostly civilians, and kidnapped 250 in southern Israel.

Israeli authorities estimate that after the November swap, 129 people remained held in Gaza and that 35 of them died.

The offensive launched by Israel in response to the attack has so far left 34,622 dead in Gaza, mostly civilians, according to the Ministry of Health of the Hamas government, figures not confirmed by any independent body.