US Mulls Separate Deal With Hamas To Free 5 American Citizens

US Mulls Separate Deal With Hamas To Free 5 American Citizens

(Zero-Hedge) – Hamas on Tuesday announced that it accepts the UN Security Council’s Gaza ceasefire resolution which was passed Monday after it was proposed by the United States. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who is traveling in the region this week, has called the development a “hopeful sign”. 

Senior Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri told Reuters that the group is ready to negotiate over the details, but that it is Washington’s responsibility to ensure Israel abides by it.

So in many ways this simply means more of the same blame-game… “Hamas accepts the UN security council resolution in regard to the ceasefire, withdrawal of Israeli troops and swap of hostages for detainees held by Israel, he said,” Reuters writes.

AFP

“The U.S. administration is facing a real test to carry out its commitments in compelling the occupation to immediately end the war in an implementation of the UN Security Council resolution,” Abu Zuhri said.

But Israel has not agreed to withdrawing its troops from the Gaza Strip as a condition for the release of hostages first. Both sides have continued to point to the other for blocking a truce. This as Rafah fighting has only expanded in the last days and weeks, and hundreds of thousands of refugees have fled to other parts of the Strip.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration is growing impatient and is reportedly mulling its own separate deal with Hamas, mediated via Qatar, toward freeing five US-Israeli dual nationals captured during the Oct.7 terror attack on southern Israel. Another three Americans are believed to be deceased, and their families are seeking the remains.

Citing administration sources, NBC said “The officials did not know what the United States might give Hamas in exchange for the release of American hostages.”

“But, the officials said, Hamas could have an incentive to cut a unilateral deal with Washington because doing so would likely further strain relations between the U.S. and Israel and put additional domestic political pressure on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,” the report added.

The very possibility of the US and Hamas striking a separate deal for the release of Americans strongly points to the White House not having much faith that a bigger hoped-for deal will actually materialize.

What now? The reality is that despite the UNSC resolution, talks will continue to be at a stalemate…

On Monday, US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield told the security council that “We’re waiting on Hamas to agree to the ceasefire deal it claims to want.” She added, “With every passing day, needless suffering continues.”

But now that Hamas has verbalize it ‘accepts’ the deal, the question is what’s next? The vote at the UNSC was little more than symbolic, with the real deal-making having to take place between the warring parties.

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(TLB) published this article from ZeroHedge as compiled by Tyler Durden

Header featured image (edited) credit: UN/AFP

Emphasis added by (TLB)

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