Photo Credit: Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90
A woman carrying the sacks of flour sh received from UNWRA in Rafah, southern Gaza Strip, November 21, 2023.

Hamas Spokesman Basem Naim on Tuesday issued a text message saying the terrorist group had not received “any new proposals” in the negotiations to secure a temporary ceasefire and release the remaining hostages in the Gaza Strip.

The announcement followed President Joe Biden’s announcement on Monday that he was hoping for a ceasefire next as soon as Monday.


Hamas’s representative in Lebanon Ahmad Abdelhadi told al-Mayadeen TV on Tuesday they will settle for nothing less than a long-term ceasefire, and “We are not interested in engaging with what’s been floated, because it does not fulfill our demands.”

This had to hurt, not only the White House but also Qatar, who has been struggling to secure a six-week ceasefire before the month of Ramadan, which starts on March 10. Majed al-Ansari, a spokesman for the Qatari foreign ministry, said in response, “The efforts are ongoing; all the parties are conducting regular meetings,” but admitted that “for now, while we certainly hope it will be achieved as soon as possible, we don’t have anything in our hands to comment on that deadline.”

State Dept. Spokesman Matthew Miller was asked on Tuesday, “The President’s comments talking about Sunday as the goal for a ceasefire, what can you tell us about that? Is that a goal? Is that something that is maybe not a deadline but something that you think is possible?”

Miller responded: “Our goal is to achieve a deal to reach a humanitarian pause and the release of hostages as soon as possible. Certainly, we’d welcome getting one by this weekend. … We are trying to push this deal over the finish line. We do think it’s possible. But as you’ve heard me say before, ultimately some of this comes down to Hamas and whether Hamas is willing to agree to a deal that would provide significant benefits to the Palestinian people that they claim to represent.”

According to The Financial Times, Hamas is asking for at least 400 trucks of humanitarian aid to be allowed into the Gaza Strip every day, which is less than the 500-plus trucks that crossed daily before October 7, 2023. These days there have been severe disruptions of aid shipments into Gaza, which raises concerns about jeopardizing a potential exchange of prisoners for hostages.

On Tuesday, Egypt, Jordan, the UAE, Qatar, and France conducted an airdrop of aid into Gaza, prompted by the limited entry of fewer than 250 trucks into the enclave over the preceding three days. A video circulated on social media after the airdrop showed young men carrying 25-kilogram sacks of flour, with many sacks inadvertently falling into the sea.

One UN official told the FT that the scarcity of food in Gaza has reached such a critical level that for at least two days in the past week, both UNRWA and the World Food Program exhausted their supplies.

This might be a good time to knock on Yahya Sinwar’s door asking for a cup of flour.


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