Gaza Truce Talks 'Unpromising', Qatar PM Admits

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by Tyler Durden
Sunday, Feb 18, 2024 - 03:30 PM

Via The Cradle,

Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said Saturday that his country will continue to mediate for truce deal between Hamas and Israel, despite that efforts to reach an agreement are looking unpromising

"The pattern in the last few days is not really very promising but … we will always remain optimistic and will always remain pushing," Al-Thani said at the Munich Security Conference. 

Image source: EPA

He added that challenges are "expected" given the scope of the type of agreement being discussed, which would be much larger than the week-long truce and prisoner exchanges that took place last year. 

The Qatari prime minister also said that the "humanitarian part" of the negotiations have been lagging. 

A source within Hamas leadership told Al-Jazeera that the resistance movement is planning to suspend truce negotiations until enough aid makes it through into the strip, particularly northern Gaza. 

"Negotiations cannot be held while hunger is eating away at the Palestinian people," the source said. Insufficient amounts of aid have been entering the Gaza Strip, where humanitarian conditions continue to deteriorate.

Only eight trucks entered Gaza through the Rafah crossing on Saturday. The Karam Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing remains shut due to pro-Israel protests blocking humanitarian supplies from entering the strip. 

"The main point of disagreement is Netanyahu and his games. He is trying not to have any arrangements or agreements. That is clear," senior Hamas official Osama Hamdan said over the weekend. 

Hamdan added that Hamas leadership showed a "positive position" towards the truce talks and "willingness" to reach an agreement

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said in a statement on Saturday that the resistance will accept no less than an end to the war, a withdrawal of troops, and a lifting of the siege on Gaza. 

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected the latest proposal and vowed to move the army against the desperately overcrowded border city of Rafah, which Tel Aviv claims is Hamas’ last bastion. 

A deal "does not appear very close," Netanyahu said on Saturday. He had previously called Hamas’ terms for an agreement "delusional."

The Israeli premier also vowed that the Rafah operation would commence, despite repeated international warnings over the threat posed to civilians and displaced.