Hamas Says No News On Truce Deal As Tens Of Thousands Of Israelis Protest

HAMAS says there’s been no progress in ceasefire talks with Israel over the war on Gaza as tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets of Tel Aviv demanding the government save the captives and get a deal done.

Osama Hamdan, a senior Hamas official based in Lebanon, said on Saturday the Palestinian group is still ready to discuss any truce proposal that ends the nearly nine-month conflict.

“Once again, Hamas is ready to deal positively with any proposal that secures a permanent ceasefire, a comprehensive withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, and a serious swap deal,” Hamdan told a news conference in Beirut.

Arab mediators’ efforts, backed by the United States, have so far failed to conclude a ceasefire with both sides blaming each other for the impasse. Hamas says any deal must end the war for good and bring full Israeli withdrawal from Gaza. Israel says it will accept only temporary pauses in fighting until Hamas, which has ruled Gaza since 2007, is “eradicated”.

Hamdan also blamed the United States for applying pressure on Hamas to accept Israel’s conditions.

Antigovernment protest organisers in Tel Aviv estimated 130,000 Israelis converged downtown on Saturday night demanding an immediate truce deal to bring the captives home.

At a news conference held outside the defence ministry, family members of those held in Gaza made statements to the crowd.

“Do not let Netanyahu sabotage the deal again. Netanyahu’s insistence on prolonging the war stands between us and our loved ones,” one unidentified relative said.

“Continuing the war means killing the hostages at the hands of the Israeli government. The people understand that Netanyahu prolongs the war for personal reasons – reaching a deal would lead to early elections and end his rule.”

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