US has conveyed an ‘end of war’ guarantee, TV report quotes Hamas source saying

The United States has conveyed a guarantee to Hamas, via Egypt and Qatar, that the war will end after the first, 40-day phase of the hostage-truce deal now being negotiated in Cairo, Israel’s Channel 12 news reports.

Citing “a very senior Hamas source,” the TV station’s veteran Middle East analyst Ehud Ya’ari says the Americans have pledged, “whether Israel says yes or Israel says no, that they’ll see to it that the war comes to an end after the first phase” of the deal, during which 33 living hostages are to be released.

For Hamas, Ya’ari quotes the source saying, this American guarantee is worth more than any Israeli comments.

The report comes shortly after two statements were issued by a senior Israeli diplomatic source — widely reported to be Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — insisting that Israel has not and will not agree to end the war as part of the hostage deal, and that Israel will not allow the mediators to offer a guarantee that the war will end as part of the deal, either.

It says Bill Burns, the CIA head who is in Cairo for the talks, is trying to press Qatar and Hamas to get a “yes” from Hamas to the terms, and to ensure that Netanyahu not capitulate to pressure from the far-right of his coalition to scupper the deal.

Finally, Channel 12 says that, in the past few hours, Netanyahu has indicated that if Hamas continues to insist on an end to the war as a condition for the deal, he will authorize a widened military operation in Gaza, and not just in Rafah. The United States remains firmly opposed to a major IDF operation in Rafah, and has said that it hopes a protracted hostage-truce deal will ultimately lead to a permanent ceasefire.

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