US says Hamas shifted goal posts on hostage talks

A top US official said that Palestinian militant group Hamas had changed its demands with regards to a hostage deal, Reuters reported.

State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller claimed on April 22 at a press briefing that the Gaza-controlling group “moved the goal post” in the hostage negotiations with Israel – mediated by Qatar and Egypt in Cairo. 

The deal includes a pause in the fighting for six weeks, more aid being allowed to enter Gaza and the release of Israeli hostages. 

Hamas rejected the proposal earlier this month, saying: “We reaffirm our adherence to our demands and the national demands of our people; with a permanent ceasefire, the withdrawal of the occupation army from the entire Gaza Strip, the return of the displaced to their areas and places of residence, intensification of the entry of relief and aid, and the start of reconstruction.” 

In the same press briefing, Mr Miller reiterated that his country were still trying to achieve an immediate and temporary ceasefire as well as the release of all captives, around 130 of whom are still languishing in the war-torn enclave. 

READ: Hamas says “no chance” hostages will be returned to Israel

On April 17, Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh went to Turkey to discuss a ceasefire bid, Israel’s constant attacks on Gaza as well as a potential two-state solution with the country’s Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan. 

In Istanbul, a senior Hamas figure, Khalil Al-Hayya, told the Associated Press (AP) on April 24 that the group would be willing to agree to a truce of five years or more with Israel and “lay down its weapons” should an independent Palestinian state be established along pre-1967 borders. 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly said throughout his lengthy political career that he does not support such a move and members of the Knesset voted overwhelmingly against the recognition of a Palestinian state on February 21. 

Since Hamas’ rampage in southern Israel on October 7, where they killed some 1,200 people, over 34,000 Gazans have been killed by the Israeli military – 72% of whom were women and children. 


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

[mc4wp_form id="206"]