After Biden Talks Ceasefire, Israel and Hamas Are Puzzled

Both sides sound surprised at the optimism
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 27, 2024 11:40 AM CST
After Biden Talks Ceasefire, Israel and Hamas Are Puzzled
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.   (Abir Sultan/Pool Photo via AP, File)

President Biden declared Monday that a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war might be only days away. As it turns out, this is apparently news to the principal parties:

  • Israel: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was "surprised" by Biden's comments that a ceasefire might be in place by Monday, an Israeli source tells ABC News. Meanwhile, the Israeli news site Ynet quotes senior Israeli officals who said they didn't know what Biden's "optimism is based on," per Reuters.
  • Hamas: The group also downplayed the possibility, with a spokesman saying it hadn't received any new proposals since mediators met in Paris last week, reports the New York Times. Another Hamas official reiterated that the group is setting a high bar—it isn't interested in any deal involving the release of hostages that does not lead to a permanent ceasefire. "We are not interested in engaging with what's been floated, because it does not fulfill our demands," said Ahmad Abdelhadi.

  • Qatar: A spokesperson for the nation that's helping broker talks also expressed caution, though there was a least a smidge of hope: "Many developments have occurred. Nothing to announce today, but we feel optimistic," the spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told reporters on Tuesday. One deal under consideration is reportedly for a 40-day ceasefire, reports Reuters, though that would fall short of Hamas' demands for a permanent cessation.
(More Israel-Hamas war stories.)

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