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Khalil Talks to the NY Times, WABC-TV About the Crisis in the Middle East

May 16, 2024

The New York Times,WABC

Osamah F. Khalil

Hamas announced its acceptance last week of an Egyptian-Qatari cease-fire proposal, but Israel said the deal did not meet its "core demands" and that it was pushing ahead with an assault on the southern Gaza town of Rafah. Still, Israel said it would continue negotiations.

“This has been going on now for several weeks as we all know,” Osamah Khaili, professor of history and chair of the Undergraduate International Relations Program, tells WABC-TV. “The negiotiations have been on and off again. The hope was that they had come closer to an agreement,” he says.

“Hamas did accept an agreement but the two big stumbling blocks have been the following: What happens after the hostages are released? Is this a permanent ceasefire or a temporary ceasefire? Hamas wants a permanent ceasefire. Israel is only willing to give a temporary ceasefire and renew the fighting after the hostages are released,“ Khalil says.

“The second item is that Hamas wants Palestinians who have been displaced to return to their homes in central/northern Gaza. And to date, Israel has been reluctant to agree to that as well,” he says.

Khalil was also quoted in the New York Times article, “Hillary Clinton Accuses Protesters of Ignorance of Mideast History.”

“For Clinton to say this is really disingenuous,” Khalil says. He notes that in the lead-up to the summit at Camp David in 2000, where negotiations ultimately faltered, Mr. Arafat had warned former president Bill Clinton that “the two sides were not ready.” To lay blame squarely on the Palestinians was unfair, he adds, noting that there had been other missed opportunities for a solution. “Diplomacy is not a one-time mattress sale,” says Khalil.

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