Israel says Hamas rejects key parts of ceasefire proposal as Australia ‘fully supports’ UN plan

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun7,2024
Key Points
  • A senior Hamas official has said it’s ready to negotiate details of a UN-endorsed resolution for a ceasefire in Gaza.
  • The three-phase plan would include a “permanent end to hostilities”, and the exchange of Israeli hostages.
  • Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says Australia welcomes the plan, announcing $10 million in additional aid for Gaza.
Hamas has formally responded to a US ceasefire proposal for the eight-month-old war in the Gaza Strip. Israel said the response was tantamount to a rejection while a Hamas official said the Palestinian group merely reiterated longstanding demands not met by the current plan.
Egypt and Qatar said they had received Hamas’ response to a proposal outlined by US President Joe Biden on 31 May but did not disclose the contents.
A Hamas official, who declined to be identified, told the Reuters news agency that the response reaffirmed its stance that a ceasefire must lead to a permanent end to hostilities in Gaza, withdrawal of Israeli forces, reconstruction of the Palestinian enclave and release of Palestinian prisoners in Israel.

“We reiterated our previous stance,” the official said. “I believe there no big gaps. The ball is now in the Israeli court.”

An Israeli official said on Tuesday the country had received Hamas’ answer from the mediators and that Hamas “changed all of the main and most meaningful parameters”.
The Israeli official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Hamas “has rejected the proposal for a hostage release that was presented by President Biden”.

On Tuesday, senior Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri, who is based outside the Gaza Strip, said it accepted the ceasefire resolution and was ready to negotiate over the specifics.

Ceasefire plan would include ‘permanent end to hostilities’

United States President Joe Biden on 31 May that he described as an Israeli initiative.
The proposed deal would start with a six-week “full and complete ceasefire” in Gaza with Israeli forces pulling out of “populated areas” of the Palestinian enclave.
It would also include the release of some hostages taken by Hamas during its 7 October attack on Israel. This would come in exchange for the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners.

The deal would later expand to include a “permanent end to hostilities” and all remaining living hostages taken by Hamas being released.

People standing in the rubble of destroyed buildings.

In addition to a ceasefire and withdrawal of Israeli troops, the proposed deal would include increased humanitarian aid and the reconstruction of Gaza. Source: Getty / Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto

A final phase of the deal would implement the reconstruction of Gaza, which has been devastated by Israel’s bombardment.

Talks will continue via Qatari and Egyptian mediators, coordinated with the United States.
Blinken said the Hamas statement was “a hopeful sign” but definitive word was still needed from the Hamas leadership inside Israeli-besieged Gaza.

“That’s what counts, and that’s what we don’t have yet.”

A group of people seated around separate sections of a round table. There are flags representing the various countries they're from on each section of table.

A conference on Gaza’s humanitarian crisis held in Jordan brought together representatives from around the world. Source: AAP / Alaa Al Sukhni/AP

Blinken says Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had “reaffirmed his commitment” to the proposed six-week ceasefire, which the .

Australia ‘welcomes’ UN ceasefire resolution, announces $10 million in aid

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says Australia fully backed the ceasefire resolution.
“This war needs to stop and a ceasefire proposal put forward by the United States and now by the UN Security Council is positive leadership from the United States, it is a plan we fully support,” he told ABC Radio on Wednesday.

“We need to see an end to the conflict, we need to see the hostages released and we need to see a plan for the infrastructure and for rebuilding of basic facilities there in Gaza.”

Foreign Minister Penny Wong also said Australia welcomed the resolution, saying the proposal presented by Biden “offers the best pathway out of this conflict” and that the UN’s resolution “reiterates international commitment to a two-state solution”.
“Australia will continue to work with countries that support peace to press for agreement to this proposal,” she said. “Any delay will only see more lives lost.

“Civilians must be protected, aid must flow at scale and hostages must be released.”

Penny Wong sitting down. A pink floor is visible in the background.

Foreign Minister Penny Wong said Australia welcomed the UN Security Council’s resolution. Source: AAP / Lukas Coch

Labor frontbencher Anne Aly, who is in Jordan attending a conference of international representatives on the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, called the UN Security Council’s resolution a “breakthrough”.

“This is the furthest that the international community has been able to get in terms of working towards a ceasefire, a rebuilding of Gaza and a lasting two-state solution for Israel and Palestine,” Aly told ABC radio on Wednesday.

Australia has also committed to providing an extra $10 million in humanitarian aid for Gazans, taking the total to more than $72 million since October.

The new funds will be directed to the World Food Programme to pay for food assistance for civilians facing the risk of famine.
The war between Hamas and Israel is the latest escalation in a long-standing conflict.
More than 1,200 people were killed and over 250 taken hostage by Hamas on 7 October, according to Israeli tallies.

Israel’s retaliatory air, ground and sea assault on Gaza has killed more than 37,000 Palestinians, according to Gaza health authorities.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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