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Hamas says it accepts ceasefire proposal of Egypt, Qatar

1 min

Hamas said on Monday that it had accepted a Gaza ceasefire proposal from Egypt and Qatar.

Ismail Haniyeh © FER

Militant group Hamas on Monday agreed to a ceasefire proposal in the seven-month-old war with Israel in Gaza, hours after the Israeli military told residents to evacuate some parts of Rafah, which has been sheltering more than a million displaced people.

Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh informed Qatari and Egyptian mediators that the group accepted their ceasefire proposal, according to a brief statement from Hamas, which gave no details of the accord.

There was no immediate comment from Israel.

The agreement, should it take effect, would be the first truce since a week-long pause in the fighting in November, and follows months of failed attempts at pausing the fighting to free hostages and allow more aid into Gaza.

There had been concerns that the ceasefire talks being held in Cairo had stalled after Hamas official Izzat al-Rashiq warned that any Israeli operation in Rafah would put the truce talks in jeopardy.

The city, on the southern edge of the Gaza Strip, has been the last sanctuary for around half of Gaza's 2.3 million residents, pushed south by Israel's seven-month-old assault.

Hamas offers no guarantee of reliability. Therefore, this information should be taken with caution.

Based on details announced so far by Hamas officials and an official briefed on the talks, the deal that the Palestinian group said it had agreed to included the following:


– 42-day ceasefire period

– Hamas releases 33 Israeli hostages in return for Israel releasing Palestinians from Israeli jails.

– Israel partially withdraws troops from Gaza and allows free movement of Palestinians from south to north Gaza.


- Another 42-day period that features an agreement to restore a "sustainable calm" to Gaza, language that an official briefed on the talks said Hamas and Israel had agreed in order to take discussion of a "permanent ceasefire" off the table.

- The complete withdrawal of most Israeli troops from Gaza.

- Hamas releases Israeli reservists and some soldiers in return for Israel releasing Palestinians from jail.


- The completion of exchanging bodies and starting the implementation of reconstruction according to the plan overseen by Qatar, Egypt and the United Nations.

- Ending the complete blockade on the Gaza Strip.

By Mohammed Salem and Nidal al-Mughrabi



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