On Tuesday, Mohamed bin Abdulrahman al Thani, who serves as the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Qatar, made a public announcement stating that a “positive” response has been received from the Islamic Resistance Movement, also known as Hamas. This response pertains to the agreement that has been proposed for the release of hostages and the implementation of a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.
During a press conference that took place in Doha, where he was joined by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, al Thani shared this news. He said, “Hamas has relayed their response concerning the general framework of the hostage agreement. They have made some comments on the matter. However, if we were to look at the overall tone and content of their response, we could say that it is largely positive.”
Al Thani, in providing further context, stated that this development is a cause for optimism. However, he remained tight-lipped about the specifics of the response received from Hamas. He shared that Israel too has been informed about this development. Although he admitted that the negotiation process has faced several challenges, the Qatari Foreign Minister remains hopeful, describing the current situation as “promising”.
In a statement, the Islamist group confirmed that it has indeed sent comments following a series of consultations among its leaders. This process also included consultations “with resistance factions”, as revealed by the pan-Arab network Al Jazeera.
Meanwhile, Blinken maintains that significant work still remains. He said, “We acknowledge that there is a formidable amount of work that lies ahead of us. However, we continue to believe in the possibility and the necessity of an agreement. We are committed to working tirelessly to make this a reality.” He further hinted that the new agreement would seek to build upon the previous one which facilitated the release of a hundred hostages back in November.