Hamas Says Blinken ‘Part of the Problem’ as Ceasefire Deal Falters

Blinken sad in Doha (Ibraheem Al-Omar / Pool / AFP via Getty)
Ibraheem Al-Omar / Pool / AFP via Getty

A spokesman for Hamas said Wednesday that U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was “part of the problem, not the solution” as the Biden administration official urged the Palestinian terrorist group to accept a ceasefire deal.

Blinken has been traveling in the Middle East this week in the wake of a United Nations Security Council resolution that formalized the administration’s proposal for a ceasefire and hostage release, which it said Israel had accepted.

Israel had agreed under U.S. pressure, while insisting on achieving its war goal of destroying Hamas’s military and governing capabilities. (Biden falsely claimed the proposal had come from Israel, which Israeli officials denied.)

The administration has been urging Hamas to accept the deal, and has asked countries with influence over Hamas to pressure it to accept the deal. But thus far, Hamas has simply pocketed U.S. concessions, and asked for more.

The proposal was, the State Department said last week, “virtually identical” to past Hamas proposals. However, as Breitbart News noted at the time President Joe Biden announced the proposal, Hamas had rejected similar plans.

The sticking point, for Hamas, is that the proposal does not explicitly guarantee that Israel will stop fighting on a permanent basis. Hamas has insisted for weeks that the U.S. issue a written guarantee of a permanent ceasefire.

Earlier in the week, Hamas welcomed the UN Security Council resolution, while insisting on more negotiations. On Tuesday, it issued a formal response, in which it made a number of additional demands, including control of the Gaza-Egypt border.

That would allow Hamas to resume smuggling weapons into Gaza, and to re-arm its forces.

Hamas also wanted changes in the timeline of the proposal regarding the withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza.

Blinken criticized Hamas’s response on Wednesday, the Times of Israel noted:

“Hamas has proposed numerous changes to the proposal that was on the table… Some of the changes are workable, some are not,” Blinken says in a press conference with Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani in Doha.

“A deal was on the table that was virtually identical to the proposal that Hamas made on May 6 — a deal that the entire world is behind, a deal Israel has accepted.”

“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 says.

Hamas denied that its demands were new, the Times of Israel reported Wednesday, and criticized Blinken.

Blinken will likely return to the U.S. empty-handed after a visit that included Egypt, Israel, Jordan, and Qatar. He has said he will continue pursuing a deal.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, “The Zionist Conspiracy (and how to join it),” now available on Audible. He is also the author of the e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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