DECEMBER 9, 2022
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Islamic Jihad Skeptical of Biden's Ceasefire Offer

Islamic Jihad Skeptical of Biden's Ceasefire Offer

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad resistance movement has expressed doubts about the ceasefire offer announced by US President Joe Biden, emphasizing that a "cessation of aggression" must involve the complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from the besieged Gaza Strip.

In a statement issued on Saturday, a day after Biden mentioned Israel's "roadmap" to end its nearly eight-month conflict with Gaza, the resistance group voiced its skepticism. "These statements suggest a shift in the US government's position, yet the White House's support for the Zionist regime and its complicity in Tel Aviv's aggression against our nation through arms supply and destruction remains clear," it said.

Islamic Jihad further stated that it will evaluate any proposal that guarantees the cessation of genocide against the Palestinian nation and meets the interests of Palestinians as well as the demands of the resistance forces.

During a speech from the White House on Friday, Biden announced that Israel's roadmap includes a full and complete ceasefire, withdrawal of Israeli forces from populated areas of Gaza, and the release of several hostages, including women, the elderly, and the wounded, in exchange for the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners. He also urged Hamas to accept the ceasefire offer.

Abu Hamza, a spokesman for the al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of Islamic Jihad, reiterated in a televised speech that the withdrawal of Israeli forces and cessation of aggression are essential for any prisoner exchange to occur. He condemned the Israeli regime for committing genocide against Palestinians and stated that Israeli prisoners would not return unless the regime halts the war.

"The only solution to return its prisoners from Gaza is through negotiation," Hamza said, adding that continued resistance would compel Israel to leave Gaza in disgrace.

Israel launched its offensive against Gaza last October following the Al-Aqsa Storm operation by Palestinian resistance movements. The conflict has resulted in over 36,000 Palestinian deaths, predominantly women, children, and adolescents, with over 82,000 injured.

Negotiations mediated by Egypt and Qatar have aimed at reaching a ceasefire agreement, with Hamas having released some captives and agreeing to a truce proposal in May to cease Israeli aggression and facilitate the release of remaining captives.

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