on Tuesday 6 February, 2024

Hamas submits response to proposed Gaza ceasefire agreement

An Israeli soldier looks at Palestinians fleeing south at Salah al-Din road in central Gaza Strip on Sunday, Nov. 26, 2023, on the third day of a temporary ceasefire between Hamas and Israel. (AP)
by : AFP

Palestinian militant group Hamas said Tuesday it handed its response on a truce deal aimed at halting the war with Israel to key mediators.

“A short while ago, the Hamas movement delivered its response to the framework agreement to the brothers in Qatar and Egypt,” a statement said, referring to “a comprehensive and full ceasefire.”

The militant group has for more than a week mulled the deal drawn up in its absence at Paris talks, as international pressure mounts to end the four-month war.

Hamas said the proposal was aimed at “ending the aggression against our people, securing relief and shelter, reconstruction, lifting the siege on the Gaza Strip, and completing the process of a prisoner exchange.”

Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said Doha had received a “positive” response from Hamas to the truce plans.

The premier was speaking alongside US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who has embarked on another crisis tour of the Middle East.

Blinken said he would bring a response from Hamas on a hostage deal to Israel on Wednesday and called it “essential” to move ahead.

“There’s still a lot of work to be done. But we continue to believe that an agreement is possible and indeed essential, and we will continue to work relentlessly to achieve it,” Blinken told reporters in Doha on Tuesday after being informed of the reply by Qatar.

The Gaza war erupted on October 7 with an attack by Hamas militants which resulted in the deaths of about 1,160 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on official Israeli figures.

Militants from Gaza also seized around 250 hostages. Israel says 132 remain in Gaza including 28 who are believed to have been killed.

Israel’s withering military campaign has killed at least 27,585 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the health ministry in the Hamas-run territory.