DUBAI: Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh said on Wednesday (Apr 3) that the militant group at war with Israel was sticking to its conditions for a ceasefire in Gaza, including an Israeli military withdrawal.

“We are committed to our demands: The permanent ceasefire, comprehensive and complete withdrawal of the enemy out of the Gaza Strip, the return of all displaced people to their homes, allowing all aid needed for our people in Gaza, rebuilding the Strip, lifting the blockade and achieving an honourable prisoner exchange deal,” Haniyeh said in a televised speech marking Al-Quds (Jerusalem) Day.

The exchange he referred to would be a release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails in exchange for Israeli hostages being held by militants in Gaza since Oct 7.

Israel had said it is interested only in a temporary truce to free hostages, while Hamas says it will let them go only as part of a deal to permanently end the war.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has insisted that Israel will push its invasion into Rafah at the southern end of Gaza, where 1.5 million people have sought shelter.


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