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No talk of new Gaza ceasefire negotiations yet: Hamas official

Osama Hamdan, Hamas’ representative in Lebanon

A senior official of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas says there is no talk yet about any new round of indirect negotiations on a Gaza ceasefire.

Osama Hamdan, who also represents Hamas in Lebanon, made the remarks in an interview with the Qatar-based television network Al Jazeera on Sunday, after Egyptian and Israeli media reported earlier in the day that the next round of talks is set to begin today.

The Hamas official said the Israeli regime is seeking to obstruct the process.

Hamdan went on to say that the resistance group wants answers regarding stopping the ongoing aggression, the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza, the return of the displaced, and the reconstruction of the besieged territory.

However, he said, the occupying regime has failed to provide guarantees in its responses.

The Hamas official said if “Israeli intransigence continues, the mediators’ efforts will face a dead end.”

He said the Israeli side only wants to recover its prisoners, and to openly continue its aggression, adding that the United States still contributes to covering up the regime’s intransigence.

Hamdan further emphasized that the resistance group rejects any aggression against the southern city of Rafah and is making every effort to prevent such a move.  

“If the occupying regime continues its aggression, the resistance is ready for confrontation,” he said.

Multi-party negotiations on hammering out a truce agreement between Hamas and the regime have reportedly failed to yield any results. 

Israel has outlined plans for a ground invasion in Rafah in southern Gaza, which potentially involves the evacuation of around 1.5 million citizens who are currently seeking shelter in the city.

The international community has expressed alarm over such plans, considering them to have further disastrous humanitarian implications.

More than six months into the hostilities, the regime has failed to achieve its objectives of “destroying Hamas” and finding Israeli captives, despite killing at least 32,780 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and injuring nearly 75,300 others.

About 130 of the 250 Israeli captives taken by Hamas during the October 7 operation are still in Gaza after a provisional truce deal in December saw the exchange of prisoners between the two sides.

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