Blinken Criticizes Hamas Response to Israeli Offer, Calls Some Changes ‘Unworkable’

by Emmitt Barry, Worthy News Correspondent

(Worthy News) – US Secretary of State Antony Blinken harshly criticized Hamas’s response to Israel’s hostage deal proposal, stating that it included impractical changes and suggesting that if Hamas maintains its current stance, it will be responsible for prolonging the war.

Blinken stated that the Palestinian terrorist organization had requested “numerous” changes to the Washington-backed plan aimed at ending the fighting in the Gaza Strip and releasing hostages taken from Israel on October 7.

“Hamas has proposed numerous changes to the proposal that was on the table… Some of the changes are workable, some are not,” Blinken said in the first US reaction to Hamas’s counteroffer submitted a day earlier.

“Israel accepted the proposal as it was,” Blinken said of the UN Security Council resolution passed on Monday. “Hamas could have answered with a single word – yes.”

“At some point in a negotiation – and this has gone back and forth for a long time – you get to a point where if one side continues to change its demands, including making demands and insisting on changes for things that it had already accepted, you have to question whether they’re proceeding in good faith or not,” Blinken said in reference to Hamas.

“It’s time for the haggling to stop and a ceasefire to start. It’s as simple as that,” Blinken concluded.

The ceasefire proposal has global support but has not been fully embraced by either Israel or Hamas. Blinken did not specify the changes Hamas was seeking but said the mediators — Qatar, Egypt, and the U.S.—will continue efforts to “close this deal.” He placed the responsibility on Hamas, accusing it of changing its demands.

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan stated that Israel will insist on the removal of Hamas from power as part of any agreement. “One of our conditions is not only the release of the hostages, it’s also the future of Gaza,” Erdan told CNN’s The Source on Monday. “We cannot agree to Hamas continuing to rule Gaza because then Gaza will continue to pose a threat to Israel.”

The resolution passed by the UN on Monday outlined three phases for the ceasefire and hostage release.

In the first phase, there would be “an immediate, full, and complete ceasefire” along with the release of hostages and the “withdrawal of Israeli forces from the populated areas in Gaza.”

Phase two would involve, “upon agreement of the parties,” a “permanent end to hostilities in exchange for the release of all other hostages still in Gaza and a full withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza.”

Phase three would initiate “the start of a major multi-year reconstruction plan for Gaza and the return of the remains of any deceased hostages still in Gaza to their families.”

Copyright 1999-2024 Worthy News. This article was originally published on Worthy News and was reproduced with permission.


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