Biden’s hopes for ceasefire by end of weekend are ‘wishful thinking’, Hamas tells Sky News

World

Joe Biden’s claim there could be an imminent ceasefire between Israel and Hamas was “wishful thinking”, a spokesperson for the Palestinian group has told Sky News.

The US president has said he hoped a ceasefire could be secured by the end of this weekend.

Negotiators are working on a weeks-long ceasefire between the two sides that would see the release of hostages being held in Gaza by the militant group in return for Israel releasing hundreds of Palestinian prisoners.

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But Basem Naim refuted the president’s comment, telling Sky News that Hamas would not agree to a deal without an absolute ceasefire.

“It is wishful thinking,” he said. “Maybe because of internal political affairs in the United States to release some of the tension around the democratic parties in the year of the election.

“But practically this statement has nothing to do with the reality. Up to now we didn’t receive any formal proposal. And I think there are still gaps between what we are calling for, what we are demanding, and what is proposed from the other parties.”

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Speaking to The World with Yalda Hakim, Mr Naim said the group hoped to reach a deal by Ramadan, which is expected to begin on the evening of Sunday 10 March.

He also said it was not true Palestinians were angry at the Hamas leadership for hiding in tunnels, and he insisted most senior leaders were above ground.

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