Hamas responds to cease-fire proposal, seeks timeline for end of war

Hamas submitted a response to a U.S.-backed cease-fire proposal in Gaza on Tuesday to officials in Qatar and Egypt, according to a statement from the group. The response asked for reassurances about an end to the war, according to an official with knowledge of the talks.

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The response came after Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged Hamas to accept the current proposal “without delay” during talks with Middle Eastern leaders and after the U.N. Security Council backed the U.S.-sponsored plan in a resolution Monday. Hamas welcomed the resolution.

The official with knowledge of the talks said that Hamas’s response had contained “amendments to the Israeli proposal, including a timeline for a permanent cease-fire and the complete withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Gaza Strip.” The official spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing diplomatic effort.

John Sexton

Those amendments to the Israeli proposal are the same demands Hamas has been making for weeks. Basically, they agree to release the hostages and the ceasefire becomes permanent, meaning their remaining leadership survives the war and Hamas continues to rule in Gaza. And while Hamas rebuilds itself, Israel is prevented from returning to finish them off.

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