Updated March 15th, 2024 at 18:14 IST

Israel's Cabinet to Discuss Hamas' Response to Ceasefire Proposal to End Gaza War

The deal, if implemented, could lead to a six-week ceasefire and the release of an estimated 40 Israeli hostages.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Hamas Led militants | Image:ANI
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Israel's war cabinet is slated to discuss Hamas’ response to the proposal for a ceasefire mediated by Qatar, Egypt and the United States to put an end to the fighting in the besieged Gaza Strip. According to the Israeli officials, the mediators have been waiting for Hamas’ response for weeks and the recent response indicates progress in the negotiations.

A six-week ceasefire negotiation underway

The deal, if implemented, could lead to a six-week ceasefire and the release of an estimated 40 Israeli hostages who were taken captive by the militants during the October 7 rampage. Hamas stated that the return of the Palestinian civilians from the Israeli jails is its top priority in exchange for a pause in the hostilities.

In a statement to its Egyptian and Qatari mediators, Hamas said that a comprehensive ceasefire proposal must include the release of Palestinian prisoners, delivery of humanitarian aid to the war-torn Gaza, return of displaced Palestinians to their homes, and complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Gaza enclave.

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Ahead of the war cabinet meeting, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that "Hamas continues with its preposterous demands. The war cabinet will be updated tomorrow.” Another senior Israeli official stated that the Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman al Thani has spoken to the Mossad spy agency and has sent a response from Hamas. Agencies reports suggest that Hamas has offered a two-stage agreement to release the Israeli women and soldiers as well as the elderly and injured, in exchange for 700 Palestinians.

Ceasefire talks between Israel and Hamas mediated by Egypt, Qatar and the United States earlier suffered a deadlock with no breakthrough ahead of the Ramadan deadline. A Senior Hamas official Bassem Naim told the agency that Hamas had handed a proposal to Israel during the two day talks and it was now up to the Israeli side to accept it. Each side accused the other of not agreeing to a comprehensive ceasefire proposal.

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Published March 15th, 2024 at 18:14 IST