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Hamas rejects Israel’s ‘Ceasefire’ proposal



Hamas rejects Israel's ceasefire proposal

The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas has declined an Israeli ceasefire proposal, stating on Saturday that it has submitted its response to mediators in Egypt and Qatar.

After more than six months of conflict with Israel in Gaza, negotiations remain at an impasse, with Hamas insisting that any agreement must bring an end to the hostilities.

Hamas reiterated its demands, including a permanent ceasefire, the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza, the return of displaced Palestinians to their homes, increased humanitarian aid, and the initiation of reconstruction efforts.

Israel, meanwhile, seeks the return of hostages taken by Hamas in an October 7 attack that sparked the conflict. Israel maintains that it will continue its military operations until Hamas is no longer a viable military force.

Additionally, Israel has plans to conduct an assault on the southern Gaza city of Rafah, where a significant civilian population has sought refuge.

Hamas has expressed willingness to negotiate a prisoners-for-hostages swap, offering the release of 133 hostages in exchange for hundreds of Palestinians held in Israeli prisons. However, there has been no official response from Israel regarding Hamas’ latest statement.

The recent killing of several members of Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh’s family by Israel has raised concerns among the families of hostages, potentially jeopardizing efforts to secure their release.

Despite growing international calls for a ceasefire as the conflict enters its seventh month, progress in the negotiations has been minimal. Hamas insists on an end to Israeli military operations, the withdrawal of Israeli forces, and the right of displaced Palestinians to return to their homes.