No permanent ceasefire in Israel's latest Gaza proposals to mediators

No permanent ceasefire in Israel's latest Gaza proposals to mediators
Israel has reportedly presented two proposals to mediators in negotiations over its war on Gaza, none of which involve a permanent ceasefire.
3 min read
27 May, 2024
Benjamin Netanyahu is adamant that there will be no permanent ceasefire in Gaza [Getty]

Israel has presented two different proposals to mediators for a new Gaza deal, none of which involve a permanent ceasefire in its war on Gaza, according to a report by Israeli state broadcaster Kan 11 late on Sunday.

The news of the proposals came after Israel had convened its war cabinet earlier on Sunday to discuss the resumption of negotiations, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said to be "strongly opposed" to a permanent cessation of hostilities.

Although the exact details of the two proposals remain unknown, they only have slight differences and both reflect Israel’s determination to continue its indiscriminate war on Gaza and free hostages held by Hamas simultaneously.

However, Hamas has said that any hostage release deal must include a permanent ceasefire.

Earlier this month, the group accepted an Egyptian-Qatari deal that would have seen the release of all Israeli hostages but Israel rejected it and pressed ahead with a brutal assault on the southern city of Rafah. 

Israel’s new proposal is effectively the same as the truce struck between the two sides in November last year, with Israel agreeing to a "temporary ceasefire" as long as Hamas releases hostages. The more hostages Hamas releases, the longer the ceasefire will last, according to reports.

In a statement released last night, Netanyahu's office laid out Israel’s negotiating position.

"While Prime Minister Netanyahu repeatedly granted the negotiating team a broad mandate to liberate our hostages, [Hamas leader Yahya] Sinwar continues to demand an end to the war, the withdrawal of the [Israeli forces] from Gaza, and the maintenance of Hamas as it is, to be able to repeat the atrocities of October 7th over and over again. This is something Prime Minister Netanyahu categorically rejects," the statement said.

Hamas believes that Israel is not serious about restarting negotiations and says that Israel is merely paying lip service to the attempts by the mediators to end the war.

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"We do not believe the enemy is serious about its decision regarding Gaza negotiations to cease fire," senior Hamas official Bassem Naim told The New Arab’s Arabic-language sister outlet Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

"The decisions issued by the Israeli war cabinet to mandate the negotiating team are nothing but a new manoeuvre to complete the war and expand the ground operation," he added.

The Netanyahu government's opposition to ending the war and its lack of seriousness in reaching a realistic hostage release deal has led to mounting internal backlash.

On Saturday and Sunday, Israeli protesters, demanding an end to the war, the resignation of Netanyahu and the return of hostages, clashed with police in Tel Aviv.

Israel's war on Gaza has killed almost 36,000 Palestinians, most of whom are women and children. Much of the enclave has been rendered uninhabitable, leading to an unprecedented humanitarian crisis, including famine