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Israel-Gaza ceasefire: Hamas responds



Israel-Gaza ceasefire: Hamas responds

Hamas has announced its response to a proposed framework for a new ceasefire in Gaza, initiated by Israel, the US, Qatar, and Egypt.

While the details of the deal remain undisclosed, it was reported to include a six-week truce involving the exchange of more Israeli hostages for Palestinian prisoners.

Both Israel and the US have acknowledged receiving Hamas’s response and are currently reviewing it. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, currently in the Middle East, intends to discuss Hamas’s stance with Israeli officials on Wednesday.

President Joe Biden characterized Hamas’s response as “a little over the top,” suggesting potential challenges in reaching an agreement with the group.

However, no official indication of the US stance on the response has been provided.

According to a senior Hamas official speaking to the BBC, the group presented a “positive vision” in response to the framework but sought amendments regarding the rebuilding of Gaza, the return of residents to their homes, and provisions for the displaced.

Additionally, Hamas requested changes concerning the treatment and transfer of injured individuals.

The proposal was conveyed to Hamas approximately a week ago, with Hamas requiring until Tuesday to respond due to perceived ambiguities in certain parts of the framework.

Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman al Thani has described Hamas’s response as “positive” overall.

The Gaza conflict, triggered by a cross-border attack by Hamas gunmen in October, has resulted in significant casualties and humanitarian challenges.

More than 27,500 people have been killed in Gaza since the conflict began, with Hamas designated as a terrorist organization in numerous countries.

Amid ongoing ceasefire negotiations, Israeli defence officials have reported progress in the hunt for Hamas’s leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar.

However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces domestic pressure to secure the release of remaining hostages.

The urgency to resolve the conflict is compounded by regional tensions, particularly after a drone strike killed three American soldiers in Jordan. The US retaliated with airstrikes against Iran-backed militias in Syria and Iraq.