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Hamas has presented a new proposal aimed at ending Israel’s siege of Gaza, contingent upon the release of hostages.
Israel is currently reviewing the proposal, which includes a suggested four-and-a-half-month ceasefire in Gaza. During this period, all hostages would be released, Israel would withdraw its troops from the Gaza Strip, and negotiations would be conducted to finalize a resolution to the conflict.
The Israeli government spokesperson mentioned that Israel is closely examining the offer, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to address the media later on Wednesday. According to an official quoted by Israel’s Channel 13 TV, there are aspects of the proposal that are deemed unacceptable, and officials are deliberating whether to reject the offer or seek modifications.
Hamas’s proposal, initially reported by Reuters, is a response to a previous offer put forth by U.S. and Israeli intelligence chiefs. This earlier proposal was delivered to Hamas last week through Qatari and Egyptian mediators.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken discussed the new offer with Netanyahu after arriving in Israel, following talks with the leaders of Qatar and Egypt, who have acted as mediators. Blinken also met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.
Israel initiated its military offensive in response to an attack by militants from Hamas-ruled Gaza on October 7, resulting in the deaths of 1,200 people and the abduction of 253 hostages in southern Israel. According to Gaza’s health ministry, at least 27,585 Palestinians have been confirmed killed, with many more feared buried under rubble. Since the conflict’s onset, only one truce has been implemented, lasting for just a week at the end of November.