Hamas says it creates broad prospects for a ceasefire deal in Gaza

SuchTV  |  Jun 12, 2024

Hamas submitted its formal response on Tuesday to a proposal outlined by US President Joe Biden on May 31. Israel said the response was tantamount to a rejection while a Hamas official said the Palestinian group merely reiterated longstanding demands not met by the current plan.

Egypt and Qatar said they had received Hamas' response but did not disclose the contents.

Early on Wednesday, Izzat al-Rishq, a member of Hamas' political bureau, said in a statement the group's answer was "responsible, serious and positive" and "opens up a wide pathway" for an accord.

Another Hamas official, who declined to be identified, told Reuters on Tuesday the response reaffirmed the movement's stance that a ceasefire must lead to a permanent end to hostilities in Gaza, withdrawal of Israeli forces, reconstruction of the Palestinian enclave and release of Palestinian prisoners in Israel.

"We reiterated our previous stance. I believe there are no big gaps. The ball is now in the Israeli courtyard," the official said.

An Israeli official said on Tuesday the country had received Hamas' answer from the mediators and that Hamas "changed all of the main and most meaningful parameters."

The Israeli official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Hamas "has rejected the proposal for a hostage release that was presented by President Biden."

Earlier a non-Israeli official briefed on the matter, who declined to be identified, said Hamas proposed a new timeline for a permanent ceasefire with Israel and withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza, including Rafah.

More than 37,164 Palestinians have been killed and 84,832 have been injured in the Israeli military offensive on Gaza since Oct 7, the Gaza health ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

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