Hamas Awaits Israeli Response on Ceasefire Proposal

By Yoni Weiss

IDF vehicles inside the southern Gaza Strip, Wednesday. (AP Photo/Ohad Zwigenberg, Pool)

Hamas is awaiting a response from Israel on its ceasefire proposal, two officials from the Palestinian terror group said on Sunday. This comes five days after Hamas accepted a key part of a U.S. plan aimed at ending the nine-month war in Gaza.

“We have left our response with the mediators and are waiting to hear the occupation’s response,” one Hamas official told Reuters, requesting anonymity.

The three-phase plan, proposed at the end of May by President Joe Biden, is being mediated by Qatar and Egypt. It aims to end the war and secure the release of approximately 120 Israeli hostages held by Hamas.

A Palestinian official with knowledge of the ceasefire discussions said Israel is in talks with Qatari intermediaries. “They have discussed Hamas’s response with them and promised to give Israel’s response within days,” the official told Reuters.

Hamas has given initial approval for the phased truce and hostage deal, dropping its demand for an upfront commitment from Israel for a complete end to the war, according to a Hamas and an Egyptian official.

However, a key issue remains Hamas’s request for “written guarantees” from mediators that Israel will continue to negotiate a permanent ceasefire once the first phase is in effect.

Israel has recently expressed cautious optimism that Hamas’s revised position could make a deal more feasible. An anonymous source within Israel’s negotiating team noted on Friday that there is now a real chance of achieving an agreement, marking a significant shift from previous instances where Israel found Hamas’s conditions unacceptable.

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