A Palestinian source close to Hamas’ political bureau told TNN on Wednesday that the Islamist resistance organisation may be close to announcing a truce.
The source added that Hamas preferred Turkey’s role in the negotiations, after it regarded the Egyptian ceasefire initiative as unsuitable, though Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri has allegedly confirmed that the Egyptian initiative has priority over other proposed ceasefire deals.
Hamas affiliated Quds-Press News Network reported that the upcoming hours may witness the declaration of a truce in agreement to the conditions presented by the movement.
Jackie Khoury, a journalist and correspondent for Al-Shams Palestinian Radio, also told TNN that diplomatic meetings in Israel are considering the Egyptian ceasefire initiative above all.
US Secretary of State John Kerry recently concluded negotiations with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu concerning an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. Kerry is expected to revisit Cairo to report on the latest developments.
“This aggression is a siege, not a true balanced battle between two equal powers.”
Following a press conference in Doha, Meshaal said Hamas would not accept a ceasefire unless Israel ends its siege on Gaza. He also reiterated that Hamas would not disarm themselves unless Israel did the same.
“Palestinians are the victims, not Israelis. We demand the lifting of the siege on Gaza before negotiating ceasefire. Deaths caused by starvation and the siege on the strip is equal to death by armed assault in the eyes of international laws. The people of Gaza have given us so much but I call on them to be steadfast,” Meshaal said during the press conference.
When asked about Israel’s unilateral ceasefire, Meshaal responded that it is one of Netanyahu’s scenarios and that Hamas will fight back until the siege has ended.
When questioned about tensions with Egypt, he replied that no tensions existed and that Hamas had worked with Egypt on treaties to establish truces many times before.
“We welcome the efforts of all sides to stop the bloodshed,” he added.
Meshaal also commented on the lack of evidence linking Hamas to the kidnapping of three Israeli teens last month. “The real parties responsible for the kidnapping of the three settler boys are still unknown, and Netanyahu is trying to frame Hamas,” he said during the press conference.
“This aggression is a siege, not a true balanced battle between two equal powers,” Meshaal added in a summary of the events.