Business Standard

Israel offer fell short of demands: Hamas

The militant group says it would still study the proposal


Hamas said on Tuesday that an Israeli proposal on a ceasefire in their war in Gaza met none of the demands of Palestinia­n militant factions, but it would study the offer further and deliver its response to mediators.

The proposal was delivered to the Palestinia­n Islamist movement by Egyptian and Qatari mediators at talks in Cairo that aim to find a way out of the devastatin­g war in the Gaza Strip, now in its seventh month.

Israeli forces meanwhile stepped up bombardmen­ts on

Deir Al-balah and Rafah in central and southern Gaza respective­ly on Tuesday, two areas they have not so far invaded, residents said.

The talks in Cairo, also attended by the director of the US Central Intelligen­ce Agency William Burns, have so far failed reach a breakthrou­gh towards pausing the war.

In a statement, Hamas said a new Israeli ceasefire proposal fell short of its demands. "The movement (Hamas) is interested in reaching an agreement that puts an end to the aggression on our people. Despite that, the Israeli position remains intransige­nt and it didn't meet any of the demands of our people and our resistance," Hamas said. However, it said it would review the proposal further and go back to the mediators with its response. Hamas wants any agreement to secure an end to the Israeli military offensive, a withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza, and to allow displaced people to return to their homes across the small, densely populated enclave. Israel wants to secure the release of hostages seized by Hamas in the October 7 cross-border rampage that triggered the conflict and to neutralise Hamas - which has ruled Gaza since 2007 - as a threat.

It has said it is keen to reach a prisoners-for-hostages deal by which it would free a number of Palestinia­ns jailed in its prisons in return for the hostages in Gaza, but it was not ready to end its military campaign.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday a date had been set for a ground assault on Rafah, a city on Gaza's southern border with Egypt which it says is the last stronghold of Hamas combat forces in the territory.

 ?? ?? Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the country’s aim was to release hostages and secure victory over
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the country’s aim was to release hostages and secure victory over Hamas

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