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Hamas responds to Egypt, Qatar on Gaza ceasefire plan; source says group proposes new timeline

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Mediators Egypt and Qatar received a response from Hamas and Palestinian groups to a U.S. ceasefire plan for Gaza, the Egyptian and Qatari governments said on Tuesday as an official briefed on the matter said Hamas proposed a new timeline.

A woman and child walk among debris, aftermath of Israeli strikes at the area, where Israeli hostages were rescued on Saturday, as Palestinian death toll rises to 274, amid the Israel-Hamas conflict, in Nuseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, June 9, 2024. Reuters/Abed Khaled

Mediators Egypt and Qatar received a response from Hamas and Palestinian groups to a U.S. ceasefire plan for Gaza, the Egyptian and Qatari governments said on Tuesday as an official briefed on the matter said Hamas proposed a new timeline.

The statement from Egypt and Qatar did not disclose what the response said, but the official, who declined to be identified, said Hamas proposed a new timeline for a permanent ceasefire with Israel and withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza, including Rafah.

Asked about the response, a Hamas official, who asked not to be named, said: "We reiterated our previous stance. I believe there no big gaps. The ball is now in the Israeli courtyard."

Egyptian officials were not immediately available for further comment.

The Egyptian ministry said Doha and Cairo, along with the U.S., will continue their mediation efforts until a deal is reached, adding that they will study the response and coordinate the next steps with concerned parties.

The Egyptian statement came shortly after Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad released a statement in which they expressed "readiness to positively" reach a deal to end the war in Gaza and said they submitted their response to Qatari and Egyptian mediators.

The United Nations Security Council on Monday backed a proposal outlined by U.S. President Joe Biden for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

On Friday, U.S President Joe Biden laid out what he called a "three-phase" Israeli proposal for a ceasefire in Gaza which would include negotiations for a permanent ceasefire in the Palestinian enclave as well as an exchange of some Israeli hostages for Palestinian prisoners.

Reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi, Adam Makary and Jaidaa Taha

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