The Palestinian organization Hamas on Monday accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of hindering negotiations for a ceasefire and the release of hostages in Gaza as mediators once again attempt to broker a deal. The destructive conflict in the Palestinian territory has now reached its ninth month, yet the prolonged negotiations, which have nearly matched the duration of the war, have been unsuccessful in bringing it to an end.

In a recent statement, Hamas claimed that the Israeli prime minister "continues to erect additional barriers in the path of the negotiations." The group also accused Netanyahu of intensifying "his aggression and crimes against our people" in what they described as "efforts to forcibly displace them in order to undermine all attempts to reach an agreement." As fierce battles continued in Gaza City on Monday, the Israeli military extended its evacuation order in the northern part of the territory, resulting in thousands of Palestinians being forced to relocate.

Netanyahu's office reiterated in a statement on Sunday that "any agreement will permit Israel to resume and fight until all the objectives of the war are accomplished." With the sole exception of a one-week ceasefire in November, during which 80 Israeli hostages were released in exchange for 240 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons, negotiations have consistently faltered due to disagreements between the parties. According to officials, mediators Egypt and Qatar are scheduled to host new meetings this week. An official with knowledge of the mediation process stated that US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director William Burns would also be traveling to Qatar this week.

Hamas has indicated that it may abandon its insistence on a "complete" ceasefire, a demand that Israel has repeatedly rejected. In its statement on Monday, the militant group expressed that it had demonstrated "flexibility and positivity to facilitate reaching an agreement" and called on mediators to put an end to what it referred to as "Netanyahu's deceptions and crimes."