Hamas reviews Israeli proposal

April 10, 2024 7:31 am

[Source: Reuters]

Hamas said on Tuesday that an Israeli proposal on a ceasefire in their war in Gaza did not meet the demands of Palestinian militant factions, but it would study the offer further and deliver its response to mediators.

The proposal was handed to the Palestinian Islamist movement by Egyptian and Qatari mediators at talks in Cairo that aim to find a way out of the devastating war in the Gaza Strip, now in its seventh month.

Residents said Israeli forces kept up airstrikes on parts of central and southern Gaza on Tuesday, including one on a family house in Al-Nusseirat that killed 14 people, according to Hamas’ Al Aqsa television. Other airstrikes were reported in Deir al-Balah in central Gaza and Rafah in the far south.

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly flagged plans for a ground assault on Rafah, where more than one million displaced civilians are holed up, despite international pleas for restraint.

The talks in Cairo, also attended by the director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency William Burns, have so far failed to reach a breakthrough towards pausing the war.

It said it would review the proposal further and go back to the mediators with its response.

Hamas wants any agreement to secure an end to the Israeli military offensive, a withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza, and to allow displaced people to return to their homes across the small, densely populated enclave.

Israel’s immediate aim is to secure the release of hostages seized by Hamas in the Oct. 7 cross-border rampage that triggered the conflict. It says it will not end the war until it annihilates Hamas, which has run Gaza since 2007.

The United States is pushing hard for a ceasefire, after telling its ally Israel to do more to protect civilians in Gaza and let in more aid to prevent a famine.

In Washington, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said 400 aid trucks had been cleared to enter Gaza the previous day, describing it as the most since the war started six months ago. He said a good ceasefire offer had been presented to Hamas, which should accept it.

Israel says aid is moving into Gaza more quickly after international pressure to increase access, but the amount is disputed and the United Nations says it is still much less than the bare minimum to meet humanitarian needs.