The terrorist group Hamas reportedly rejected a plan that could end its war against Israel. The news comes as Hamas has lost control of significant portions of the Gaza Strip while an Israeli airstrike reportedly killed a top Iranian general in Syria.
Egypt reportedly led an effort to produce a ceasefire in the Mideast conflict. As part of the proposed peace deal, Hamas would give up power, which it has held in the territory for almost to decades.
Allegedly, Arab countries wanted to hand power in Gaza to a united Palestinian government not led by Hamas or current Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Hamas also rejected any potential peace offer except for a possible prisoner swap. The effort would follow a brief ceasefire which allowed for the release of several dozen Israeli hostages.
Currently, there are more than 100 Israelis estimated to be held as hostages by Hamas.
The original plan would see a two-week truce in which Hamas would release 40 of the hostages. In exchange, Israel would release 120 Palestinian prisoners.
Following the initial ceasefire, Hamas would give up power in Gaza, replaced by a new government. It would also release all remaining hostages.
Israel has said since the start of the war on Oct. 7 that its goal was to destroy Hamas.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the country was “going to go until the end. Until we finish them. No less than that.”
A Hamas official said that the group “seeks to end the Israeli aggression against our people,” describing the current war in Gaza as “massacres and genocide.”
The Hamas figure said that the group “discussed with our Egyptian brothers the ways to do that.”
The Israel Defense Force has announced today that they have further begun to Expand Ground Operations in the Gaza Strip, with Footage being released showing “Namer” Heavy-Armored Personnel Vehicles and “Puma” Heavy-Engineering Combat Vehicles entering the Alborij Refugee Camp in… pic.twitter.com/8UeCVnWrkH
— OSINTdefender (@sentdefender) December 26, 2023
The Hamas official also requested most aid.
Should aid increase and fighting stop in Gaza, then the group would be “ready to discuss prisoner swaps.”
Hamas official Osama Hamdan said that Hamas would not accept “negotiating under fire.”
The official said that negotiations regarding the future of leadership in the region “is an internal Palestinian issue.”
“The people must elect their own leadership. No one has a right to dictate, not the Americans, Israelis or any one else,” said Hamdan.