Thu. May 23rd, 2024

U.S. and 17 other countries demand that Hamas release hostages held in Gaza

By 37ci3 Apr25,2024

The United States and 17 other countries demanded the release of Hamas All the hostages he held in Gaza As Biden administration officials seek to increase global pressure on the militant group, which the White House blames for blocking a ceasefire deal that would have included the release of hostages.

“We call for the immediate release of all hostages held by Hamas in Gaza for more than 200 days. Our own citizens are among them,” the joint statement said. “The fate of hostages and civilians in Gaza, which is protected by international law, is of international concern.”

The letter was signed by the leaders of the USA, Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Spain, Thailand and Great Britain.

“We emphasize that the negotiated agreement on the release of hostages will achieve an immediate and lasting ceasefire in Gaza, which will facilitate the delivery of additional much-needed humanitarian aid to Gaza and lead to a credible end to hostilities.” the statement said. “Gaza residents will be able to return to their homes and lands with advance arrangements to provide shelter and humanitarian provisions.”

A senior administration official told reporters in a telephone briefing that a joint statement from such a long list of governments was “quite extraordinary” and that an attempt to organize a similar appeal had not been possible before, given “some differences of opinion”.

It was an offer on the table discussed in recent weeks calling for the release of dozens of sick, elderly and wounded hostages in Gaza in exchange for a six-week ceasefire that could be extended. Qatar, Egypt and the United States acted as mediators in the negotiations.

According to a senior administration official, the proposal would allow more humanitarian aid to flow into Gaza and allow Palestinian civilians to return to their homes in northern Gaza. The Israelis have accepted the terms, but Hamas’s leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, has so far rejected the offer, despite meeting most of Hamas’ demands.

People rush to humanitarian aid packages dropped in the northern Gaza Strip on April 23, 2024.
People rush for humanitarian aid packages that were dropped in the northern Gaza Strip on Tuesday.AFP – Getty Images

The official said some progress had been made in talks with Qatar-based Hamas political leaders, adding that Sinwar was the “ultimate decision maker” and vetoed some proposals.

As it is said, “The people of Kazan are suffering and the question… is for him [is], will he agree to release these sensitive categories of hostages in favor of a ceasefire and aid to the Gazans? The answer from Sinvar personally is “no”, the official said.

Asked about Sinwar’s whereabouts and whether he had left the Hamas tunnel network under Gaza, the official responded: “I think justice will come for Sinwar. I’m not going to talk about where he is or anything.”

Israel He vowed to kill Sinwar after the October 7 terrorist attack by Hamas against Israel that killed nearly 1,200 people, most of them civilians.

Hamas says that Israel is to blame for the failure to reach an agreement in the ceasefire talks with the hostages and demands a permanent ceasefire.

Asked about the prospects for a deal, an administration official said: “You know, we’re seeing some signs that there might be an avenue here, but I’m just … not quite sure.”

Thursday’s joint statement came after President Joe Biden met in the Oval Office on Wednesday with Abigail Edan, a 4-year-old American girl who was taken hostage after Hamas militants killed her parents.

Biden’s meeting with Edan and his family, including his great aunt and uncle, “lasted over an hour,” an administration official said.

Referring to a famous photo of President John F. Kennedy’s son, Edan said he “crawled through the door on a determined table.” Edan played on the swing set and playground on the South Lawn of the White House, the official added.

Administration officials are also evaluating a new video of American hostage Hersh Goldberg-Paulin released by Hamas on Tuesday, the official said.

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By 37ci3

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