Hamas Has Some ‘Understandable’ Counters to Ceasefire Offer, ‘Needs to Be a Back and Forth’


During a portion of an interview with “PBS NewsHour” Foreign Affairs and Defense Correspondent Nick Schifrin that took place on Sunday and was aired on Monday, White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan stated that parts of the Hamas counteroffer on a ceasefire deal “are understandable” even though some “are out of step with what the U.N. Security Council set forward and what was in President Biden’s speech.” And “Now, there needs to be a back and forth, and we need to bridge the remaining gaps and get to a conclusion.”

Sullivan said, “Now, Hamas has come back with changes to the agreement. I wouldn’t characterize it exactly as you’ve just put it, but it is certainly the case that they are looking for a move from phase one to phase two that gives them a sense that there will actually be a permanent end to hostilities. Now –.”

Schifrin then cut in to ask, “And is that dead on arrival, or is that a possibility?”

Sullivan answered, “From my perspective, this is a negotiation. Israel authorized a proposal to be put forward. Hamas has come back with some elements that, in our view, are understandable, not unanticipated, and other elements that are out of step with what the U.N. Security Council set forward and what was in President Biden’s speech. Now, there needs to be a back and forth, and we need to bridge the remaining gaps and get to a conclusion.”

Later, Sullivan added, “I am concerned that Sinwar and other Hamas leaders are making a crude and cynical calculus with the lives of innocent Palestinian people. And I think the best way to prove that, in fact, they do care about the lives and the well-being of Palestinian civilians is to agree to a ceasefire.” And that if Hamas took the offer Israel backs, it would go into effect.

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett





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