Hopes for Gaza truce after Hamas says it will respond to Israel proposal

A senior Hamas official told French media on Sunday that the group would deliver its response to Israel's latest counterproposal for a Gaza ceasefire on Monday in Egypt. International mediators have stepped up efforts to reach a deal ahead of an Israeli assault on the southern city of Rafah.

The Israeli government has come under intense pressure to reach a ceasefire from its global allies, as well as from protesters within Israel demanding the release of hostages seized by Hamas during their 7 October attack that triggered the war.

A Hamas delegation will arrive in Egypt on Monday to deliver the group's response to Israel's new hostage and truce counterproposal, a senior official of the militant group told French news agency AFP.

Egypt, Qatar and the United States have been trying to mediate a new truce ever since a one-week halt to the fighting in November saw 80 Israeli hostages exchanged for 240 Palestinians held in Israeli prisons.

Hamas has previously insisted on a permanent ceasefire – a condition that Israel has rejected.

However the Axios news website, citing two Israeli officials, reported that Israel's latest proposal includes a willingness to discuss the "restoration of sustainable calm" in Gaza after hostages are released.

It is the first time in the nearly seven-month war that Israeli leaders have suggested they are open to discussing an end to the war, Axios said.

A Hamas source close to the negotiations told AFP that the group "is open to discussing the new proposal positively".

"Keep protesting, so that there will be a deal now," Miran said in the footage.

(with AFP)

Read more on RFI English

Read also:
'Neutrality' issues found at UN agency for Palestinians, but no terrorism proof
Macron issues 'war crime warning' to Netanyahu over forced displacement in Gaza
'France does not abandon its children' Macron tells families of Gaza hostages