U.S. opposes some changes asked by Hamas concerning latest ceasefire proposal

(Xinhua) 13:18, June 13, 2024

WASHINGTON, June 12 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Wednesday that Hamas' response to a U.S.-backed ceasefire-for-hostages proposal included "numerous changes" to what was originally presented, some of which were unacceptable.

Blinken told a news conference in Doha, Qatar, that the United States received a response from Hamas through Qatari and Egyptian mediators to a three-phased roadmap to a permanent ceasefire in Gaza that U.S. President Joe Biden announced at the end of May. The proposal was designed also to secure the release of all hostages held by Hamas.

"Hamas has proposed numerous changes to the proposal that was on the table. We discussed those changes last night with Egyptian colleagues and today with the prime minister" of Qatar, Blinken said. "Some of the changes are workable; some are not."

Blinken said that the current proposal was "virtually identical" to what Hamas laid out in their own proposal put forward on May 6, yet Hamas had made "a number of" changes that "go beyond positions it had previously taken and accepted."

He reiterated that the current deal was "accepted" by Israel, despite the apparent fact that some in the hard-right faction of the Israeli government were opposed to it. "Hamas could have answered with a single word: yes," Blinken added.

Blinken's avoidance of explicitly saying Hamas rejected the potential deal drew what appeared to be a clear contrast to the Israeli perception of Hamas' attitude. In a report Tuesday, U.S. news outlet Axios quoted two Israeli officials as saying that Hamas had rejected the proposal.

"In the days ahead, we are going to continue to push on an urgent basis -- with our partners, with Qatar, with Egypt -- to try to close this deal," Blinken said at the news conference.

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Zhong Wenxing)


Related Stories