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Updated Jun 11, 2024, 4:40pm EDT
securityMiddle East

Hamas responds to US ceasefire proposal for Gaza

Israeli military near Gaza
REUTERS/Amir Cohen
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The News

Hamas has submitted a response to the United States’ proposal for a ceasefire in Gaza, the White House confirmed Tuesday without offering specific details.

Both Egypt and Qatar confirmed they had received the Hamas response and were reviewing it, according to a post on X by the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The US ceasefire plan calls for an initial six-week pause on fighting and a phased release of Israeli hostages held in Gaza and Palestinian prisoners held in Israel. Ultimately, the plan is designed to become a permanent ceasefire, and to support negotiations for the reconstruction of Gaza.

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The UN Security Council endorsed the plan on Monday; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has yet to formally respond to the plan.

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In the Middle East this week, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had said that reaching a ceasefire deal was contingent on Hamas agreeing to the terms, however there is concern both Hamas and Israel may not reach a deal based on the US proposal, despite the United Nations’ backing.

John Kirby, the White House’s national security spokesperson, said on Tuesday that it was “helpful” Hamas had submitted a response and that the administration was “evaluating” it.

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After it submitted a response on Tuesday, a senior Hamas official told the BBC that the group required an Israeli commitment to a permanent ceasefire. But the actual wording or nature of the response is not yet clear.

Netanyahu has faced pressure from some far-right members of his government coalition to continue the war in Gaza despite Israel’s growing isolation on the world stage.

After the Security Council vote, Israel said it would continue its offensive in the strip to “ensure that Gaza doesn’t pose a threat to Israel in the future,” said Israel’s representative to the UN.

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