Top Hamas Official Lays Out One Condition To Disarm, End War Against Israel

(Screenshot / the Associated Press)

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A senior Hamas official said Wednesday that the terrorist group would militarily disband if a two-state solution is implemented, according to the Associated Press.

The international community is urging Hamas to accept a ceasefire deal with Israel so that the remaining hostages in Gaza can be freed and humanitarian aid can be delivered to the war-torn region. Hamas political official Khalil al-Hayya told the AP on Wednesday that the terrorist group sees a possible path to a ceasefire with Israel through one condition — the creation of a “fully sovereign Palestinian state.”

If a true two-state solution is achieved, Hamas will disarm, turn solely into a political party and agree to at least a five-year truce with Israel, al-Hayya told the AP. al-Hayya has been a key player in the ongoing negotiations with international mediators for a ceasefire deal and the release of the hostages in Gaza.

“All the experiences of people who fought against occupiers, when they became independent and obtained their rights and their state, what have these forces done? They have turned into political parties and their defending fighting forces have turned into the national army,” al-Hayya said.

(Photo by MOHAMMED ABED/AFP via Getty Images)

Yahia al-Sinwar (2nd-L), Gaza Strip chief of the Palestinian Islamist Hamas movement, stands by as a masked fighter of Hamas’ Qassam Brigades holds up a firearm reportedly belonging to Israeli soldier in Gaza City on December 14, 2022. (Photo by MOHAMMED ABED/AFP via Getty Images)

Such a state would require territorial sovereignty “in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and the return of Palestinian refugees in accordance with the international resolutions,” al-Hayya told the AP, referring to border agreements with Israel pre-1967. al-Hayya didn’t clarify to the AP whether this would represent an end to Hamas’ broader goal to destroy Israel entirely. (RELATED: ‘We Are Being Manipulated’: Professor Explains How China Is Spreading Pro-Hamas Sentiment On College Campuses)

The Israeli government and a majority of the country’s population have repeatedly rejected the idea of a two-state solution, fearing that it would pose a grave threat to national security. That stance was emboldened after Hamas attacked Israel on Oct. 7 and killed roughly 1,200 people.

“Israel categorically rejects international dictates regarding a permanent settlement with the Palestinians,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement in February. “Israel will continue to oppose unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state.”

Abdel Halim Badawi (C), a Palestinian who was held for 18 years in an Israeli prison after he was convicted of being a member of Hamas’ armed wing in 2001, holds an assault rifle as he stands surrounded by Hamas militants celebrating his release in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on October 17, 2019. (Photo by SAID KHATIB / AFP) (Photo by SAID KHATIB/AFP via Getty Images)

Israeli forces have largely cleared out Hamas from the northern and central regions of Gaza. Israel’s plan for the next phase of the war is to launch a ground assault in Rafah, the southernmost part of Gaza where the bulk of the remaining Hamas operatives are located.

al-Hayya said Wednesday that this assault would be unsuccessful, according to the AP. The Israeli forces “have not destroyed more than 20% of (Hamas’) capabilities,” al-Hayya claimed, and coordination between the terrorist group’s political and military wings remains “uninterrupted.”

“If they can’t finish [Hamas] off, what is the solution? The solution is to go to consensus,” al-Hayya told the AP.

Recent U.S. intelligence indicates that Israel has mostly crippled Hamas’ capabilities, according to the Times of Israel. Only roughly a quarter of Hamas’ battalions remain intact, mostly in Rafah, Netanyahu said in February.

The Biden administration and the international community are pressuring Israel against launching a ground assault in Rafah without a credible plan to evacuate the massive civilian population that has sought refuge in the region. Israel has reportedly begun humanitarian preparations to ensure civilian safety but has yet to launch the ground assault, according to The New York Times and AP.

The IDF did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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