‘You could have ended Gaza bloodshed with one word’ – US govt slams Hamas for refusing UN approved cease-fire proposal

The United States has condemned Hamas for refusing a UN-backed cease-fire proposal, saying the terror group could have halted the war in Gaza with a single word.

 

Speaking from Qatar on Wednesday, June 12, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the current proposal is nearly identical to the one Hamas itself proposed last month, accusing the terrorists of prolonging the war just to insert more demands that undermine the ongoing peace talks.

“It was a deal that Israel accepted and the world was behind. Hamas could have answered with a single word: ‘Yes,’” Blinken told reporters in Doha.

While he did not go into the specific demands that Hamas is making, the secretary of state described some of the requests as “workable,” while others were clearly nonstarters.

“At some point in a negotiation, and this has gone back and forth for a long time, you get to a point where if one side continues to change its demands, including making demands and insisting on changes for things that it had already accepted, you have to question whether they’re proceeding in good faith or not,” Blinken said of Hamas.

“It’s time for the haggling to stop and a cease-fire to start. It’s as simple as that,” he added.

The proposal, which was approved by the UN Security Council on Monday, calls for a temporary cease-fire in Gaza to allow the some 120 hostages in Hamas captivity to be released in exchange for Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

Along with the hostage exchange, the deal calls on Israel to withdraw from Gaza’s main population centers and to allow more aid to arrive for Palestinians.

The deal would also allow Palestinians to return to all areas of the Gaza Strip that had been evacuated since the Israeli military began its ground incursion.

 

Blinken also appeared frustrated that it took so long for Hamas to announce its response after President Biden announced the deal to the world.

“They waited almost two weeks and then proposed more changes, a number of which go beyond positions it has previously presented and agreed to,” Blinken vented.

“As a result, the war will go on and more people will suffer.”

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