Blinken: Hamas has proposed ‘unworkable’ changes to ceasefire proposal

Blinken: Hamas has proposed ‘unworkable’ changes to ceasefire proposal

US secretary of state Antony Blinken said on Wednesday Hamas had proposed “numerous changes” in its response to a ceasefire proposal, some of which are workable, some are not.

Speaking at a news conference in Doha, he said some of Hamas’s proposals in the response go beyond what the group had previously accepted in talks on a deal for a ceasefire and the release of hostages held in Gaza. Blinken refused to be drawn by media questions into providing more details on what Hamas had been requesting.

Blinken said:
Hamas could have answered with a single word: yes. Instead, Hamas waited nearly two weeks and requested numerous changes. The time for decision is now. The longer this goes on, the more people will suffer. And when it took 12 days just to get the response to the proposal that president Biden put forward, more suffering took place during those twelve days. The longer this continues, the greater the suffering will be.

Appearing alongside Qatar’s prime minister and foreign minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, he described Qatar as “a tireless partner” working towards peace.

Blinken said that reaching a deal was “doable”, adding “I believe it’s absolutely necessary to try our hardest to do it. But there’s no guarantee.”

The secretary of state also gave a cautionary word to Israel, saying “We look, and continue to look very carefully, at international humanitarian law. At laws of armed conflict, human rights. And we have a number of our own processes within the US administration, including within my own department, to assess whether Israel or any other combatant in any other conflict is adhering to those.”

Qatar’s prime minister said there needed to be a permanent solution that allowed a Palestinian state and Israel to live side-by-side.

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