Photo Credit: State Department photo by Freddie Everett
Secretary of State Antony Blinken

The Hamas terrorist organization has rejected the hostage deal described last week by US President Joe Biden and formally approved by the United Nations Security Council.

The terror group conveyed its response to Qatar and Egypt, who have been mediating the indirect talks between Hamas and Israel, together with the United States.


An Israeli source quoted by Ynet said Hamas rejected the offer “outright” and instead “changed the entire proposal.”

Hamas has not budged from its initial demands for a permanent ceasefire and the immediate withdrawal of IDF military forces from Gaza — and has now also added the demand for a written guarantee by the United States to enforce Israel’s compliance on both.

The terror group has also demanded that Israel agree to a permanent ceasefire immediately while dragging out its release of the 120 Israeli and dual national hostages — including at least five Americans — kidnapped by its forces during the October 7th massacre in southern Israel.

The group responded to the latest proposal with numerous changes to the text while holding firm on its demands instead.

“We emphasized the Palestinian demands, most notably a ceasefire and the occupation’s withdrawal from Gaza,” the terror group’s National Relations Office, Hussam Badran, told Al Jazeera.

“We have not returned to point zero in the negotiations, and what is new is the Security Council’s decision and Biden’s speech on the necessity of ending the war. Nothing positive came from the occupation regarding the recent Security Council resolution. The ball is in the court of Netanyahu and his government, and pressure must be directed at the occupation,” Badran said.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told reporters Wednesday in response to the news that mediators will continue their efforts to close a deal with the Iranian-backed terrorists, but noted that Hamas had remained intransigent — a view that was not well received by the terrorists.

“Blinken confirms that he is part of the problem, not part of the solution,” senior Hamas leader Osama Hamdan told Al Arabi in a statement on Wednesday.

“We told the mediators that the side rejecting the proposals is the ‘Israeli’ side. The American administration is complicit with ‘Israel’ in evading any commitment to a permanent ceasefire proposal.

“The ‘Israeli’ occupation is the one hindering the ceasefire in Gaza. The ‘Israeli’ proposal seeks a temporary ceasefire to catch its breath before resuming the war,” Hamdan added.

The US Secretary had a different view of the stance by Hamas.

“Hamas has proposed numerous changes to the proposal that was on the table… Some of the changes are workable. Some are not,” Blinken told reporters in Doha, Qatar.

“I believe that they (the differences) are bridgeable, but that doesn’t mean they will be bridged because ultimately Hamas has to decide,” the Secretary pointed out.

“Hamas could have answered with a single word: ‘Yes.’ Instead, Hamas waited nearly two weeks and then proposed more changes — a number of which go beyond positions that had previously taken and accepted,” Blinken said.

“As a result, the war — [which] Hamas started on October 7 with its barbaric attack on Israel… will go on.”

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.