Israel can’t force its will on Hamas, Hamas chief Haniyeh says in response to rescue op

DUBAI — Israel cannot force its choices on Hamas and the terror group will accept no deal that does not achieve security for Palestinians, Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh says, in response to a military operation in Gaza’s Nuseirat, where four hostages were rescued by troops.

Qatar and Egypt have in recent days turned up the pressure on Hamas’s leadership in Doha to sign on to a deal presented by the White House to secure a truce in Gaza and the release of Israeli hostages held there, The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

The Israeli proposal for a deal envisions a six-week truce in its first phase during which the remaining living female, elderly, and sick hostages will be released. Also during this first phase, the parties are to hold talks on a permanent ceasefire.

One clause specifies that the phase one ceasefire can extend beyond the initially allotted six weeks if the negotiations for a permanent ceasefire are still taking place in good faith. The clause was kept vague in a manner that mediators hoped would satisfy both sides enough to at least get them to agree to phase one of the deal.

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