Hamas says Israeli attacks not helping Gaza ceasefire talks, Netanyahu creating obstacles

Palestinian group Hamas has announced escalating Israeli attacks across the Gaza Strip are not helping negotiations to end the war, saying Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is creating obstacles to the truce talks.

In a statement on Monday, Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh warned that the “catastrophic consequences of what is happening in Gaza” could “reset the negotiation process to square one”.

Netanyahu and his army will bear “full responsibility for the collapse of this path”, Hamas quoted Haniyeh as saying.

The statement added Haniyeh made “urgent contact” with mediators Qatar and Egypt over the expanding actions of the Israeli military, which issued further evacuation orders for areas in the neighbourhoods of Gaza City, displacing thousands of Palestinians, many of whom have been forced to move multiple times.

In a separate statement, Hamas accused Netanyahu of escalating “his aggression and crimes against our people” in what it said were “attempts to forcibly displace them in order to thwart all efforts to reach an agreement”.

Israel has killed at least 38,193 Palestinians and wounded 87,903 others since October 7, Gaza’s health ministry reported on Monday.

It comes as Egypt, Qatar and the United States step up efforts to mediate a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas.

Hamas has dropped a demand that Israel first commit to a permanent ceasefire before the Palestinian movement would sign an agreement.

But Netanyahu’s office reiterated in a statement on Sunday that “any deal will allow Israel to return [to Gaza] and fight until all the goals of the war are achieved”.

As talks repeatedly flounder over differences between the parties, mediators Egypt and Qatar were due to host new meetings this week, according to officials.

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