Hamas says studying latest Israeli truce counterproposal

Agence France-Presse
Hamas says studying latest Israeli truce counterproposal
This picture taken from Israel's southern border with the Gaza Strip shows smoke rising from the Palestinian territory on April 24, 2024, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and the militant group Hamas.
AFP / Jack Guez

The Palestinian militant group Hamas said early Saturday it had received and was studying the latest Israeli counterproposal regarding a potential ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and the release of hostages.

"Today, the Hamas movement received the official Zionist occupation response to the movement's position, which was delivered to the Egyptian and Qatari mediators on April 13," Khalil al-Hayya, deputy head of Hamas's political arm in Gaza, said in a brief statement.

"The movement will study this proposal, and upon completion of its study, it will submit its response."

On April 13, Hamas had insisted on a permanent ceasefire, something Israel opposes.

A delegation from mediator Egypt arrived in Israel on Friday in a bid to reignite stalled truce negotiations, Israeli and Egyptian media reported.

Egypt, along with fellow mediators Qatar and the United States, has been unsuccessfully trying to seal a ceasefire deal since a one-week halt in fighting in November saw 80 Israeli hostages held in Gaza exchanged for 240 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons.

Since then, global criticism of the war's toll on Palestinian civilians in Gaza has escalated, as have calls for Hamas to release the remaining hostages being held since their October 7 attacks that triggered the war.

Several Israeli media outlets, citing unnamed officials, said Israel's war cabinet discussed a new plan for a truce and hostage release ahead of the Egyptian delegation's visit.

There has been "noticeable progress in bringing the views of the Egyptian and Israeli delegations closer", said Al-Qahera News, which is linked to Egyptian state intelligence services.

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