Ismail Haniyeh
Ismail HaniyehAbed Rahim Khatib /Flash 90

Hamas political bureau head Ismail Haniyeh, the terrorist organization's highest-ranking official, claimed in a televised speech today (Sunday) on the occasion of the Islamic Eid al-Adha holiday that Hamas's response to the Biden Administration's latest ceasefire proposal is consistent with the goals outlines in the proposal.

The Qatar-based Hamas leader stated, "The response we gave to the mediators about the proposal is consistent with the basics in Biden's speech and the Security Council resolution. Hamas and the resistance factions are serious about reaching an agreement that includes the four main points: a permanent ceasefire, a comprehensive Israeli withdrawal from Gaza, the rehabilitation of Gaza, and a prisoner exchange deal."

Hamas gave its official response to the proposal this past Tuesday. A senior Israeli official said Israel had received Hamas’ response and added that the terrorist organization rejected Biden’s proposal.

US President Joe Biden outlines the proposal on May 31.

The Israeli proposal which was transmitted by Qatar to Hamas, Biden revealed, includes three phases, the first of which “would last for six weeks ... [and] would include a full and complete ceasefire, withdrawal of Israeli forces from all populated areas of Gaza, release of a number of hostages, including women, the elderly, the wounded, in exchange for the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners.”

Phase two would see the release of all remaining living hostages, including male soldiers, Israeli forces, with withdrawal from Gaza. “As long as Hamas lives up to its commitments, a temporary ceasefire would become, in the words of the Israeli proposal, a cessation of hostilities permanently," Biden added.

If negotiations on phase two take more than six weeks, the ceasefire will continue as long as talks continue, he stated.

Phase three would encompass "a major reconstruction plan for Gaza," said the President, as well as the repatriation of the remains of deceased hostages to their families.

Hamas waited 12 days to respond to the proposal. This delay, combined with the new demands Hamas made, prompted US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to cause the terrorist organization of stalling.

Blinken said, "Here, in a nutshell, is where we stand: A deal was on the table that was virtually identical to the proposal that Hamas put forward on May the 6th, a deal that the entire world was behind, a deal Israel has accepted, and 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 it had previously taken and accepted. As a result – and you heard the prime minister say this – the war that Hamas started on October 7th, with its barbaric attack on Israel and on Israeli civilians, will go on. More people will suffer. More Palestinians will suffer; more Israelis will suffer."