Exclusive: Resistance says no deal without permanent ceasefire

Sources tell Al Mayadeen that the Palestinian Resistance has received a ceasefire proposal that does not go with its vision for ending the war and would enable “Israel” to continue its hostilities.

  • Smoke rises following an Israeli bombardment in the Gaza Strip, as seen from southern occupied Palestine, Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024 (AP)

Negotiations are taking place over a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and a complete withdrawal of the Israeli occupation forces, sources told Al Mayadeen on Sunday.

The stipulations of the agreement being drawn up include the issues of the ceasefire, withdrawal, prisoner exchange, reconstruction, displaced people, the entry of aid, and the lifting of the siege imposed on Gaza.

Intelligence obtained by Al Mayadeen indicates that the Paris Agreement touched on the prisoner exchange but completely neglected the ceasefire and the withdrawal from Gaza, whereas the Resistance’s agreement highlights those issues as pivotal.

There is no clause confirming a ceasefire after the truce ends, and there are no regional or international guarantees that the Israeli occupation would not resume hostilities after it; there also are not enough details regarding the essential issues of the Resistance and Gaza in and of itself, the sources said.

The Paris Agreement also offered no guarantees about an Israeli withdrawal from Gaza as Israeli officials claim that they want to establish a buffer zone within the blockaded Strip.

“The Resistance is concerned that Israel intends to remain in Gaza and complicate the reconstruction efforts in a bid to drive a wedge between the people of Gaza and the Resistance,” one source told Al Mayadeen.

Additionally, there are apparently no solid grounds for the reconstruction effort nor the provision of temporary housing for displaced peoples amid the concerns that the Israeli occupation might seek to impede said efforts.

“Hamas is engaging in consultations with Palestinian factions and its allies from parties and regional forces,” the sources said, revealing that the agreement was brought up for discussion within the movement’s upper echelons.

It was revealed to Al Mayadeen that there would be a meeting in Cairo, Egypt, within days, which would be attended by representatives from several other countries, including Qatar.

The meeting is said to include a deep and comprehensive discussion set to be followed by Hamas’ leadership before a final response is granted.

While regional parties attempted to assure Hamas that the agreement would practically lead to a ceasefire and that the Israeli occupation could not continue the war, the Resistance underlined that it wanted genuine guarantees and mechanisms that would effectively lead to a ceasefire and the occupation’s withdrawal from Gaza and prevent the Israeli occupation from resuming hostilities.

“The Resistance cannot hand over its trump card, the military captives, without a guaranteed ceasefire, a withdrawal of the Israeli occupation forces, and an agreement on reconstruction and lifting the siege,” the sources underlined.

No agreement has been reached yet: Top Palestinian Resistance official

A leading figure from the Palestinian Resistance factions said earlier in the week that no agreement around a ceasefire deal had been reached yet.

The remarks come after news outlets reported that Hamas had approved in principle the most recent ceasefire proposal made by Qatari officials. The official described the statement made by the Qatari Foreign Ministry as rushed and inaccurate.

The official explained that the party he represents had “received a message from the Hamas leadership regarding the framework paper that was presented based on the Paris meeting.”

It is worth noting that the meeting came up with a momentary ceasefire proposal, which included a three-stage prisoner exchange deal. The meeting was attended by William Burns, the Central Intelligence Agency director, and top Egyptian, Israeli, and Qatari officials.

The leading figure said, “There is no agreement on the framework yet, and Hamas has important remarks (regarding the proposal).”

Hamas officials had announced earlier that its representatives would submit a unified response in Cario, Egypt, that represents all Palestinian Resistance factions.

“To date, no delegation from the Hamas leadership has traveled to Cairo, and no date has been set for meetings yet,” the top official noted.

As reiterated on previous occasions, the official said the Paris Document is currently being studied “based on the agreed-upon national constants.”

“The priority will be for a comprehensive cessation of aggression, a complete withdrawal of occupation forces from Gaza, securing shelters for the displaced, and completing a serious exchange process,” the official explained.

He further stressed that “Zionist media outlets are dissipating fabricated and false news to stir up public opinion about the negotiations.”

Finally, the official said Egypt and Qatar have unified mediation efforts.

A Qatari official had also told Reuters, “There is no deal yet. Hamas has received the proposal positively but we are waiting for their response.”

Meanwhile, the media advisor to the head of the Hamas political bureau told Reuters that the group received the Paris truce proposal for a ceasefire and release of hostages in Gaza, but “we haven’t given a response to the Gaza truce proposal,” adding, “It is still being studied.”

“We can’t say that the current stage of negotiation is zero and at the same time we cannot say that we have reached an agreement,” Taher al-Nono said.

Read more: Exclusive-Hamas, PIJ: No one can force terms on Palestinian Resistance

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