In a recent statement, senior Hamas official Osama Hamdan revealed the Palestinian Islamic organization's fears of releasing the hostages due to fears of future Israeli airstrikes. Speaking to Qatar's Al Jazeera, Hamdan stressed that Hamas is not interested in releasing the hostages only for Israel to continue bombing Gaza later.
The organization's primary focus, he said, is on achieving a permanent ceasefire in the war-torn region. Hamdan expressed Hamas' willingness to reconcile with its rival Fatah in post-war Gaza. However, he insisted that the priority was to establish lasting peace.
According to Hamdan, after the release of the hostages, there are concerns that Israel could launch another round of mass killings, but Hamas is unwilling to engage in such a cycle of violence. A senior Hamas official also stressed the organization's willingness to make a significant compromise if it leads to a cessation of hostilities.
He claimed that Hamas has repeatedly offered Fatah opportunities to make joint decisions, blaming Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for the lack of progress in this regard.
A single political system throughout the Palestinian territory
Hamas aims to engage in talks with all Palestinian factions, stressing the need to halt aggression before addressing broader political issues.
Hamdan articulated the long-term goal of establishing a unified political system across the Palestinian territories, which would include both the West Bank and Gaza. The article notes that Fatah's alliance with Hamas could potentially trigger US sanctions against the Palestinian Authority, as the US, EU and Israel designate Hamas as a terrorist organization.
The US has expressed its support for a revitalized Palestinian Authority to govern Gaza and supports Israel's efforts to dismantle Hamas. The recent arrival of Hamas leader Ismal Haniyeh in Cairo for talks on Gaza coincides with signals from both sides expressing support for a new truce in the ongoing conflict.
The article also mentions the release of hostages during a week-long ceasefire in late November, highlighting the complex dynamics surrounding the hostage situation and the broader challenges facing the region.