Hamas: We're Looking Over Israel's Latest Ceasefire Plan

Senior official for militant group says offer was in response to Hamas proposal from 2 weeks ago
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Apr 27, 2024 7:30 AM CDT
Hamas Says It's Reviewing New Israeli Ceasefire Proposal
Khalil al-Hayya, a high-ranking Hamas official who has represented the Palestinian militant group in negotiations for a ceasefire and hostage exchange deal, speaks during an interview with the AP in Istanbul on Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

Hamas said Saturday it was reviewing a new Israeli proposal for a ceasefire in Gaza, as Egypt intensified efforts to broker a deal to end the monthslong war and stave off a possible Israeli ground offensive into the southern Gaza city of Rafah. Senior Hamas official Khalil al-Hayya said the Palestinian militant group was evaluating Israel's proposal, and that "upon completion of its study, it will submit its response." He gave no details of Israel's offer but said it was in response to a proposal from Hamas two weeks ago, per the AP. Negotiations earlier this month centered on a six-week ceasefire proposal and the release of 40 civilian and sick hostages in exchange for freeing hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. Hamas' statement came hours after a high-level Egyptian delegation wrapped up a visit to Israel to discuss a "new vision" for a longer ceasefire in Gaza, per an Egyptian official.

It wasn't immediately clear whether Israel's latest response to Hamas on a ceasefire was directly related to Friday's visit to Tel Aviv by Egyptian mediators. The discussions between Egyptian and Israeli officials focused on the first stage of a multiphase plan that would include a limited exchange of hostages held by Hamas for Palestinian prisoners, and the return of a significant number of displaced Palestinians to their homes in northern Gaza, "with minimum restrictions," the Egyptian official said. The mediators are working on a compromise that will answer most of both parties' main demands, which could pave the way to continued negotiations with the goal of a larger deal to end the war, the official said.

Hamas said Friday it's open to any "ideas or suggestions" that take into consideration the needs of the Palestinian people, such as an end to Israel's attacks on Gaza, the return of displaced people to their homes, and an Israeli withdrawal. The Palestinian group's demands include a permanent ceasefire and full withdrawal of Israeli troops; Israel says it will continue military operations until Hamas is defeated. Hamas sparked the war with its attack into southern Israel on Oct. 7, in which militants killed around 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and took some 250 people as hostages. Israel says the militants are still holding around 100 hostages and the remains of more than 30 others. Since then, more than 34,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israel's air and ground offensive, per the Health Ministry in Hamas-run Gaza, around two-thirds of them children and women. More here.

(More Israel-Hamas war stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.