Hamas says Biden Gaza ceasefire deal ‘just words’

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A senior Hamas official said Thursday that US President Joe Biden’s proposed Gaza ceasefire deal was “just words” and the Palestinian militant group had not received any written commitments related to a truce.

Biden presented last week what he labelled an Israeli three-phase plan that would end the conflict, free all hostages and lead to the reconstruction of the devastated Palestinian territory without Hamas in power.

For the latest updates on the Israel-Palestine conflict, visit our dedicated page.

But Osama Hamdan, a Hamas official based in Beirut, told AFP: “There is no proposal -- they are just words said by Biden in a speech.”

“So far, the Americans have not presented anything documented or written that commits them to what Biden said in his speech,” he said from the Lebanese capital.

Hamdan said Biden “tried to cover up the Israeli rejection” of another deal offered earlier in May, which had been approved by Hamas.

He said Hamas was willing to accept any deal that met his movement’s core demands of a permanent ceasefire in Gaza and the complete withdrawal of Israeli troops from the territory.

Shortly after Biden unveiled the plan, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the roadmap was only “partial.”

The United States, along with Qatar and Egypt, have been engaged in months of negotiations over details for a ceasefire in Gaza.

But except for a seven-day pause beginning in November, which led to the release of more than 100 hostages, there has been no break in the fighting.

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The war in Gaza was sparked by Hamas’s October 7 attack, which resulted in the deaths of 1,194 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli official figures.

Militants also took 251 hostages, 120 of whom remain in Gaza, including 41 the army says are dead.

Israel’s military offensive on Gaza has since killed at least 36,654 people, also mostly civilians, according to the territory’s health ministry.

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