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Hamas calls on 18 countries signing hostage release initiative to expose Israel’s crimes

April 27, 2024 at 10:25 am

Palestine Square in Gaza City as Israeli prisoners of war are released by Al-Qassam Brigades and handed over to the Red Cross, in Palestine Square, centre of Gaza City, on 27 November 2023 [Motasem A Dalloul/Middle East Monitor]

The Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas expressed its regret over the statement issued by the White House, signed by 18 countries, calling for the release of the hostages in the Gaza Strip.

The movement conveyed on Friday that the statement: “Did not address basic issues for our people who are suffering under the burden of a comprehensive genocidal war and did not stress the need for a permanent ceasefire and the withdrawal of the occupation army from the Gaza Strip. This is in addition to the ambiguity surrounding other issues.”

Hamas stressed that it is: “Open to any ideas or proposals that take into account the just needs and rights of our people, represented by a complete cessation of the aggression against them, the withdrawal of the occupation forces from the Gaza Strip, the unconditional and unrestricted return of the displaced, reconstruction, lifting the siege, and moving forward with reaching a serious prisoner exchange deal through the Palestinian people receiving their full legitimate national rights by self-determination, and establishing their independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.”

Hamas called on the US administration, the countries that signed the statement and the international community: “To lift the lid on the crime of genocide committed by the Zionist enemy against children and defenceless civilians in the Gaza Strip, and to put pressure to end it, as an urgent priority.”

On Thursday, 18 countries called for an end to the crisis in the Gaza Strip and the establishment of peace and stability in the region.

This came in a joint statement on behalf of the leaders of the US, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Spain, Thailand and the UK, published on the White House website.

The statement demanded: “The immediate release of all hostages held by Hamas in Gaza for over 200 days. They include our own citizens. The fate of the hostages and the civilian population in Gaza, who are protected under international law, is of international concern.”

The countries’ leaders who signed the statement emphasised that: “The deal on the table to release the hostages would bring an immediate and prolonged ceasefire in Gaza,” without mentioning the deal’s details.

READ: Israel must end war for hostages to be released, Hamas says