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Hamas spokesperson Abdel Latif al-Qanoua. (Photo: via Al-Mayadeen)

By Palestine Chronicle

“Our most prominent priority in the ongoing negotiations is the return of the displaced without restrictions and a complete withdrawal of (Israeli) forces from the Gaza Strip.”

Any agreement with Israel is based on, amongst other demands, a permanent ceasefire in the besieged Gaza Strip, the Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas has said.

“The key to any agreement with Israel is based on a permanent ceasefire,” Hamas spokesman Abdel Latif al-Qanoua said in a statement on Thursday.

“Our most prominent priority in the ongoing negotiations is the return of the displaced without restrictions and a complete withdrawal of (Israeli) forces from the Gaza Strip,” al-Qanoua said. “Without this, the (agreement) will not be completed.”

Al-Qanoua stressed that the “occupation war against our people and the failure of its army and leaders to achieve their goals will remain a shame that will haunt them forever.”

Following the latest rounds of indirect talks between the two sides in Egypt, Hamas earlier said that while it appreciates the efforts made by the mediators, Israel “remains obstinate and has not responded to any of the demands of our people and our resistance.”

“Despite this, the leadership of the movement is studying the proposal at a national level, and will inform the mediators of its response once this review is completed.”

Khan Yunis Regained

The Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth reported on Wednesday that Hamas has regained control of Khan Yunis, following the Israeli army’s withdrawal from the largest city in Gaza.

From a military perspective, the situation for Israel appears even more challenging.

According to “veteran combat officers” cited in the report, Hamas cannot be dismantled now. In the best-case scenario, the report noted, it will be defeated in 2026 or 2027.

The military officials reportedly stated that “we will not be permanently in the Strip. We will return to many raids deep in the territory.”

The officials admitted that even the alleged “achievements of the forces that fought in Gaza are being eroded”.

Rising Death Toll

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7.
According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 33,634 Palestinians have been killed, and 76,214 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 7,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the enclave.

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli war has resulted in an acute famine, mostly in northern Gaza, resulting in the death of many Palestinians, mostly children.

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire’.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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