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Cautious hopes as Hamas backs UN ceasefire plan

Cautious hopes as Hamas backs UN ceasefire plan

International Desk

Hamas on Tuesday accepted a US-sponsored UN resolution for ending the Palestinian group’s war with Israel in Gaza and is ready to negotiate details of the truce plan, in what the US foreign minister called "a hopeful sign".

However, there is still caution in Gaza about the prospects of lasting peace as many previous ceasefire plans fell apart. One senior Hamas official confirmed the group’s backing for the latest peace plan, but the US was still waiting for words from the Hamas central leadership on the matter.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Hamas's response was not conclusive, adding that that "what counts" is what is said by the Hamas leadership in Gaza, "and that's what we don't have".

If the proposal did not proceed then it was “on them”, he said.

The reservations in Hamas leadership over the UNSC resolution apparently stem from the vague claim that Israel already supports Biden’s plan.

The resolution passed Tuesday night noted that Israel had accepted within a very short time what US President Joe Biden had presented 11 days earlier and called on Hamas to do so as well.

Blinken said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had "reaffirmed his commitment" to the proposal when they held talks in Jerusalem on Monday.

However, Netanyahu has not publicly endorsed what Biden outlined nor said whether it matches an Israeli proposal on which Biden's statement was based.

Hamas issued a statement on Tuesday welcoming "what was included" in the resolution.

The US has been saying for days that all hopes of “peace” depended on Hamas, as Israel had already “backed” Biden’s latest ceasefire plan.

The onus was on "one guy" hiding "ten storeys underground in Gaza" to make the casting vote, Blinken said referring to Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar.

 

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