Hamas official insists truce must be permanent; PM said to tell Blinken there won’t be a deal if terror group maintains demand

Hamas will respond to an Israeli truce proposal for Gaza “within a very short period,” an official with the terror group says, stressing that any truce needs to be permanent.

Hamas is considering a plan for a 40-day ceasefire and the exchange of scores of hostages for larger numbers of Palestinian prisoners.

Suhail al-Hindi, a senior Hamas official, told AFP the group would “deliver its response clearly within a very short period,” although he would not say precisely when that was expected to happen.

Speaking to AFP by phone from an undisclosed location, he said it was premature to say whether the Hamas envoys, who have returned from talks in Cairo to their base in Qatar, felt any progress was made.

He stressed the aim was “to reach an end to this war.”

But that would seem to be at odds with Israel’s determination to push ahead with its ground offensive in southern Gaza.

Citing US and Israeli officials, the Walla news site reports that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told US Secretary of State Antony Blinken that if Hamas continues to demand an end to the war, the military will launch an offensive in Rafah and there will be no truce deal.

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