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Gaza ceasefire may be coming – at last!

A view of the rubble at the destroyed Al Shifa Hospital during an inspection by the World Health Organisation, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, in Gaza City in this handout image released April 6, 2024. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus/Handout via REUTERS/File Photo

Alameen Templeton

“Israel” and the US are pushing Hamas hard to accept a ceasefire proposal as Tel Aviv’s threats to invade Rafah grow louder, with some signals from the resistance group that they may at last have something concrete to consider.

Public atrocity has become “Israel’s” weapon of choice in this fight, or threats of it anyway. Benjamin Netanyahu, Accused Number 1 and “Israeli” prime minister, is “vowing” to attack Rafah, to “storm” Rafah, to “launch an offensive”, news headlines are warning. These are “last-chance” talks, we’re told. Mediators are “pushing Hamas” to agree to a deal. “Israel” will “wait until Wednesday night” for a response.

The “Times of Israel” says the Nazi state is warning a Rafah “offensive” will go ahead, with or without a hostage deal.

But that may be more a comforting morsel of reassuring propaganda for the stormtroopers back home – made unashamedly in the full glare of the international spotlight – rather than a concrete threat to commit yet another atrocity while the world watches.

Hamas responses to the Cairo talks have been more measured.

Al-Mayadeen is reporting as an “exclusive” that Hamas officials are indicating the talks have indeed moved forward. US foreign secretary Anthony Blinken’s insistences on Monday that Hamas had been given something real at last had been treated with scepticism. For once, it appears he may have been speaking the truth, or something close to it.

Hamas says the latest proposal “included positive points and a retreat in the Israeli position, Al-Mayadeen says, quoting “a well-informed Palestinian source”.

Hamas says it is verifying key issues, notably regarding the ceasefire and the withdrawal of “Israeli” occupation soldiers.

Exactly who and how many Palestinian hostages held in “Israeli” prisons will be released may also be a final sticking point.

Sources said “Israel” had made concessions on the ceasefire, its withdrawal and the return of Gazans to their homes.

Hamas remains in constant contact with Egyptian and Qatari mediators as its leaders hunker down for a final decision.

That will have to come before Wednesday night, “Israel” is threatening, as Netanyahu fiddles with the big, red “massacre” button, nearly a million starving refugees shiver in freezing Rafah tents and massive protests swell on university campuses and city streets around the world.

Axios reports “Israeli” sources saying they have agreed to “a willingness to discuss the restoration of sustainable calm” to Gaza following an initial release of captives.

That may be a vital breakthrough as the Nazi state has stubbornly refused to discuss an end to the genocide so far while Hamas has resolutely made ending the killing the focal point of the talks.

Axios also says the “Israelis” indicated they were willing to “make further significant concessions”. That includes a withdrawal of its killers from the corridor dividing the North and South of the Gaza strip.

Be it approaching US elections and president Joe Biden’s need to try rehabilitate his standing in voter eyes before real electioneering starts, or rumours of ICC arrest warrants being prepared for “Israeli” leaders, growing public resistance to war supplies continuing to flow to “Israel”, war weariness among “Israel’s” soldiers after seven months of bloodletting – whatever it is – “Israel” appears to be on the back foot.

Hamas also appears to have relented. Its officials  earlier said in response to Blinken’s Monday insistence Hamas had received “a very generous offer”, that the deal “was not as generous” as the Americans had claimed. It was also filled with “major loopholes and malicious plots”, Palestinian Islamic Jihad spokesperson Ihsan Ataya said.

Egyptian sources say they are hopeful. Saudi Arabia is insisting any ceasefire must be permanent.

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