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Washington 'examines' Hamas response to Gaza ceasefire plan

The United States is "examining" Hamas's response to the attack on Wednesday a ceasefire plan in the Gaza Strip promoted this week in the Middle East by its head of diplomacy Antony Blinken against a backdrop of incessant Israeli strikes in the Palestinian territory.

And this response, the content of which has not been announced, gave rise to different interpretations on Wednesday, with Israeli media and the American site Axios affirming that the Palestinian movement had rejected the plan.

This prompted a Hamas leader, Izzat al-Rishq, to ​​issue a brief statement affirming that the response was both “responsible, serious and positive” and that it “opened the way to an agreement”.

“Israeli media allegations about Hamas' response demonstrate attempts to shield Israel from the obligations of the agreement,” he wrote in Arabic, suggesting hence these press indications allowed Israel to continue its strikes.

Washington 'examines' Hamas response to Gaza ceasefire plan

Buildings destroyed by Israeli bombings in Khan Younes, in the south of the Gaza Strip, June 11, 2024 © AFP – Eyad BABA

On a tour of the Middle East, American Secretary of State Antony Blinken stressed that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had “reaffirmed his commitment” to the plan announced by the American president at the end of May and adopted Monday by the UN Security Council.

This plan provides, in a first phase, a six-week ceasefire accompanied by an Israeli withdrawal densely populated areas of Gaza, the release of certain hostages and Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.

– “Encouraging sign” –

Mr. Blinken also described as an “encouraging sign” the reaction of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, which said it welcomed “favorably” a certain number of elements of the American resolution, before giving its official response Tuesday evening.

Washington 'examines' Hamas response to Gaza ceasefire plan

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (center) attends a humanitarian conference on Gaza, June 11, 2024 on the Jordanian shores of the Dead Sea © POOL – Alaa AL-SUKHNI

In a joint statement with Islamic Jihad, the second Palestinian armed Islamist movement, Hamas gave its response to mediators from Qatar and Egypt by calling for a “total cessation of aggression” Gaza.

The response contains “amendments” to the proposal announced by Joe Biden, “including a timetable for a permanent ceasefire and the total withdrawal of troops Israeli forces from the Gaza Strip,” said a source familiar with the discussions.

A White House spokesperson, John Kirby, indicated that the United States was “reviewing” this response. “I am not going to provide any context or details on the response that has just arrived and which our team is currently evaluating, as are our friends in Qatar and Egypt,” he added.

“The horror must end,” said UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, who participated in an international conference in Jordan on Tuesday aimed at mobilizing funds for humanitarian aid in the besieged territory, deprived of water and electricity, where the UN is worried about the risk of famine.

“It is great time to establish a ceasefire and release the hostages unconditionally”, he added, calling on “all parties to seize the opportunity” provided by the new American road map.< /p>

– “Completed an operation” –

Meanwhile, Israeli strikes continued to target different areas of the Gaza Strip early Wednesday, following deadly bombings Tuesday in the center of the territory where the Israeli army said it had “completed an operation” in eastern Deir al- Balah and east of al-Boureij.

Washington &#39;examines&#39; Hamas response to Gaza ceasefire plan

Israeli firefighters extinguish a brush fire caused by rocket fire from Lebanon, June 11, 2024 near Had Nes, northern Israel © AFP – Jalaa MAREY

In the occupied West Bank, the local Health Ministry and the Palestinian Red Crescent announced that six Palestinians were killed Tuesday during an Israeli army raid on a village near the town of Jenin, a stronghold of Palestinian factions. Hamas also said it “mourned” the “martyrs” of Jenin.

In Lebanon, an important military commander of Hezbollah, Taleb Sami Abdallah, was killed on Tuesday evening in an Israeli strike in the south of the country, announced the Lebanese Shiite movement allied with Hamas.

According to a Lebanese military source, the airstrike caused the death of three people in addition to the commander, who is “the most important member of Hezbollah to be killed” since “the start of the war”, with exchanges of fire being almost daily. on the Israel-Lebanon border since October 7.

– Psychological impact –

The war in the strip Gaza was triggered that day by an unprecedented Hamas attack in southern Israel, which resulted in the deaths of 1,194 people, the majority civilians, according to an AFP count based on official data. Israelis. Some 251 people have been kidnapped and 116 remain held in Gaza, of whom 41 have died, according to the Israeli military.

Washington &#39;examines&#39; Hamas response to Gaza ceasefire plan

Destruction in Khan Younis, in the south of the Gaza Strip, on June 11, 2024 © AFP – Eyad BABA

In response, Israel, which has vowed to annihilate Hamas, the movement in power in Gaza since 2007 that it considers a terrorist organization along with the United States and the European Union, launched an offensive on Gaza that has left at least 37,164 dead, mostly civilians, according to data from the Health Ministry of the local government led by Hamas.

In Jordan, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that at least 1.7 million people, out of the approximately 2.4 million inhabitants of the Gaza Strip, have been displaced several times by Israeli military operations in eight months of war.

He also lamented the psychological impact of the war, particularly on children, and said that about 60% of residential buildings and at least 80% of commercial facilities had been damaged by Israeli bombing.

Violence against children during conflicts reached “extreme levels” in 2023, particularly in Gaza and Sudan, according to a UN report seen by AFP on Tuesday, which included the Israeli and Sudanese armies on its “list of shame”.

All reproduction and representation rights reserved. © (2024) Agence France-Presse

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116