Hamas political chief Haniyeh says group 'showing flexibility' in Gaza truce talks

Hamas political chief Haniyeh says group 'showing flexibility' in Gaza truce talks
In a televised speech, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh says the group is showing flexibility in truce negotiations with Israel but that it is prepared to fight.
2 min read
28 February, 2024
Ismail Haniyeh has been the Chairman of Hamas' political bureau since 2017 [Getty]

Hamas's political chief Ismail Haniyeh said on Wednesday his Palestinian movement is being flexible in Gaza truce negotiations but it was ready to continue fighting Israel during Ramadan if negotiations fall flat.

He said that Israeli militarily failures cannot be accomplished by "political" means and that Hamas is being open in talks out of "concern for our peoples blood and to put an end to their great suffering".

The Doha-based head of the political bureau of Hamas also vowed that the group was ready to fight in the event of negotiations failing.

“The Zionist occupier commits the most heinous crimes known to humanity against our people in Gaza, including murder, extermination, and displacement, against which our people have written epics in resistance,” Haniyeh said.

“It does not bother us if we enter the month of Ramadan in confrontation and jihad, as it is a month of victories."

Haniyeh appeared to urge Palestinians in the West Bank to pressure Israel to come to terms, calling on the people of Jerusalem and the occupied territory to march on Al-Aqsa Mosque for prayers on the first day of Ramadan on 10 March.

This is the date given by Israel for its attack on the besieged Gaza border city of Rafah, now a refuge to around 1.5 million Palestinians, most of whom have fled there from the north.

The Palestinian leader also warned that any intensification of Israel violence in the West Bank "lays the groundwork for a comprehensive displacement plan" and called on the "Axis of Resistance" and Arab states to do more to support Palestinians in Gaza.

"It is the duty of the Arab and Islamic nations to take the initiative to break the starvation conspiracy in Gaza," Haniyeh said, referring to what many consider to be the deliberate policy by Israel to starve the Palestinian people trapped in the enclave.

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US President Joe Biden said on Monday he hoped that a truce for Gaza would be agreed by next Monday, following negotiations in Qatar and Paris also aimed at freeing hostages.

Speaking to The New Arab’s Arabic sister outlet Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, Egyptian sources said that Hamas and Israel had accepted general details that would make a ceasefire possible.

However, the source claimed that the delay in reaching a final agreement is due to Israel’s unwillingness to discuss how to put this into practice.