Israel receives Hamas's response to Gaza cease-fire proposal

Israel receives Hamas's response to Gaza cease-fire proposal

Hamas says they ‘have exchanged some ideas with the mediators with the aim of stopping the aggression against our Palestinian people’

By Zein Khalil

JERUSALEM (AA) - Israel said late Wednesday that mediators have conveyed Hamas's response to a hostage swap and cease-fire proposal for Gaza.

“The hostage deal mediators have conveyed to the negotiating team Hamas's remarks on the outline of the hostage deal,” Israel’s foreign intelligence agency Mossad said in a statement published by the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on X.

“Israel is evaluating the remarks and will convey its reply to the mediators,” the statement added.

This coincided with a post by Hamas on Telegram.

"We have exchanged some ideas with the mediators (Egypt and Qatar) with the aim of stopping the aggression against our Palestinian people,” it said, without elaborating.

Israel’s Channel 12 reported that the outline of the deal was formulated before the Israeli army took control of the Philadelphi Corridor in Rafah, so even if Hamas agrees, there is expected to be a fundamental disagreement over the continued presence of Israeli forces there.

The channel quoted an unnamed Israeli political source as saying that "even if Hamas responds positively to the outline, negotiations will take a long time."

Indirect talks between Israel and Hamas mediated by the US, Qatar and Egypt have so far failed to agree on a permanent cease-fire that allows a prisoner swap between Israelis and Palestinians.

Israel, flouting a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire, has faced international condemnation amid its continued brutal offensive on Gaza since an Oct. 7, 2023 attack by the Palestinian group Hamas.

Nearly 38,000 Palestinians have since been killed, mostly women and children, and around 87,300 others injured, according to local health authorities.

Over eight months into the Israeli war, vast tracts of Gaza lie in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, whose latest ruling ordered it to immediately halt its military operation in the city of Rafah, where over a million Palestinians had sought refuge from the war before it was invaded on May 6.

*Writing by Rania Abu Shamala

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