Gaza ceasefire should be a ‘no-brainer’ for Hamas but terror group’s motivations are unclear, Blinken says

Accepting a ceasefire deal with Israel should be a “no-brainer” for Hamas, but that the motivations of the terror group’s elusive Gaza-based leadership remain unclear, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken says.

Hamas, which controls Gaza, has announced that its delegation will return to Cairo today to resume long-running talks brokered by Egypt and Qatar that would temporarily halt fighting in the Strip in return for freeing over 100 hostages held by the terror group since October 7.

Noting that the terror group “purports to represent” the Palestinian people, Blinken said: “If it is true, then taking the ceasefire should be a no-brainer.”

“But maybe something else is going on, and we’ll have a better picture of that in the coming days,” he adds.

Blinken pointed to difficulties negotiating with Hamas, which the US has designated as a terror group and does not engage with directly and which Israel vowed to eliminate after some thousands of Hamas-led terrorists burst across the border on October 7, killing some 1,200 people and seizing 253 hostages, mostly civilians, many amid acts of brutality and sexual assault.

“The leaders of Hamas that we’re indirectly engaged with — through the Qataris, through the Egyptians — are, of course, living outside of Gaza,” Blinken points out.

“The ultimate decision-makers are the folks who are actually in Gaza itself with whom none of us have direct contact.”

Blinken was addressing the McCain Institute’s Sedona Forum in Arizona days after he met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other top leaders on his latest visit to the Middle East.

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