Hamas says Israeli response to its truce proposal was negative

By Thomson Reuters Mar 20, 2024 | 9:44 AM

CAIRO (Reuters) -A senior Hamas official said on Wednesday that Israel’s response to the group’s latest Gaza ceasefire proposal was negative after mediators handed it over.

“On Tuesday evening, our brothers, the mediators, informed us of the occupation’s position on the proposal … it is a negative response in general and does not respond to the demands .. In fact, it retracts the approvals it previously provided to the mediators,” Osama Hamdan told a press conference in Beirut.

He said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government were responsible for the failure to negotiate a hostage release in exchange for Palestinian prisoners and stop the fighting in Gaza.

Talks on a ceasefire have resumed this week in Qatar, but weeks of negotiations have so far failed to produce the agreement between Israel and Hamas that Washington hopes will alleviate the humanitarian crisis gripping Gaza.

(Reporting by Nidal Al Mughrabi and Ahmed Tolba; writing by Yomna Ehab; editing by Mark Heinrich and Kevin Liffey)