Hamas Rejects Ceasefire Proposal

The terrorist group Hamas refused a proposed ceasefire despite pressure from the White House on Israel regarding the fighting in the Gaza Strip. Israel was preparing for the final attack on Hamas’ last stronghold in the city of Rafah prior to the large Iranian attack on the country Saturday.

Hamas said Saturday that would not accept a potential ceasefire. The group said that it reaffirmed “our adherence to our demands and the national demands of our people; with a permanent ceasefire, the withdrawal of the occupation army from the entire Gaza Strip, the return of the displaced to their areas and places of residence, intensification of the entry of relief and aid and the start of reconstruction.”

Israel offered to release hundreds of Palestinian prisoners to exchange for the hostages. In the last hostage exchange in November, some of those released from Israeli prisons were there due to violent attacks.

Earlier this week Hamas indicated that it would not be able to release 40 hostages requested by Israel. The group said that many of the hostages taken in the Oct. 7 attack are now dead. The group took hundreds of hostages during the rampage attack that killed about 1,200 people.

Hamas still holds several Americans at the last report. However, it is possible that these Americans may be among those who have died since being abducted.

The Biden administration called for a ceasefire in the conflict, but Hamas has so far rejected all offers this year. The Israeli government has indicated a willingness to engage in a ceasefire and has been negotiating with Arab states and the United States regarding such a proposed plan.

Israel has captured much of Gaza during the ongoing campaign and has killed much of Hamas’ armed force. However, Hamas still holds Rafah in the southern part of Gaza.

President Joe Biden previously called an attack on Rafah a possible “red line.” However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu indicated that the country would launch an attack on the city regardless of American pressure. He also stated that Israel had a date for a campaign to take the city.