Gaza negotiations falter as Israel continues to bombard Shujaiya

A senior Palestinian Hamas official said Saturday in Beirut that negotiations for an agreement with Israel on a Gaza ceasefire and hostage exchange deal had not made any progress.

A plan presented last month by US President Joe Biden, which he said was proposed by Israel, included a six-week truce accompanied by an Israeli withdrawal from densely populated areas and the release of some hostages in exchange for Palestinian prisoners held in Israel.

According to US news site Axios, “three sources with direct knowledge” said Washington had presented a “new language for parts of” the proposed deal.

On Saturday, Osama Hamdan, a Hamas official based in Lebanon, confirmed that the movement had received the latest proposal on June 24, but that it included “nothing new”.

“We can say that there is no real progress in the negotiations to stop the (Israeli) aggression so far”, he said at a press conference.

The plan presented by Biden has so far failed to result in a deal, with both sides sticking to their demands.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he will continue the war until Hamas is totally defeated and all hostages are freed.

Hamas insists on a permanent ceasefire and a complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Gaza Strip, which Biden promised in his initial announcement of the plan.

Hamdan said the proposals were “merely a waste of time and provide additional time for the occupation (Israel) to practise genocide”.

He also said Hamas was being pressured to accept Israel’s deal “as it is without modification”.

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