May 21, 2024

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Cease-Fire: Hamas Says It Has Accepted a Proposal Presented by Egypt and Qatar

Cease-Fire: Hamas Says It Has Accepted a Proposal Presented by Egypt and Qatar

Hamas said on Monday it had notified Egypt and Qatar that it had accepted their proposal for a ceasefire with Israel in the Gaza Strip, which has been devastated by seven months of war.

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Ismail Haniyeh, head of Hamas’s political bureau, said in a phone call with Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani and Egyptian intelligence chief Abbas Kamel that “Hamas has approved their cease-fire agreement.” Palestinian Movement website.

According to al-Jazeera, a senior official of the Palestinian Islamic Movement, the ceasefire proposal includes three phases aimed at a lasting ceasefire.

It consists of three phases, each lasting 42 days, and includes a full Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, the return of displaced persons and a hostage exchange still in Gaza, and a Palestinian prisoner exchange in what Israel calls a “permanent cease-fire”. ”, Khalil Al-Hayya announced to Qatar Channel.

A Hamas official told AFP on condition of anonymity that “the ball is now in the court” with a choice between “accepting the ceasefire agreement or standing still”.

In Rafah, a city on the southern edge of the Gaza Strip, the army forced residents of some neighborhoods to leave the city on Monday morning to prepare for an Israeli military operation, with Hamas’ announcement greeted with jubilant scenes. wind

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People are joyfully thanking God, “People are crying for joy, there are scenes in the air of celebration,” an AFP reporter said.

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One resident, Noor al-Fara, 56, told AFP the announcement of the ceasefire “filled her with joy”. “I knelt down to thank God, especially since this morning we were very nervous, packing our things to get ready to leave. But we never stopped praying.

Hamas’s announcement “does not mean the ceasefire is in force, the Israeli side has not communicated its position”, another Hamas official told AFP.

Egypt-Qatar-US mediation has been trying for months to end fighting between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip and to free Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails in exchange for hostages. Israelis were abducted during an unprecedented Hamas offensive in southern Israel on October 7, sparking the war.

The closed-door talks in Cairo on Sunday ended without any progress. Hamas has demanded that a cease-fire deal pave the way for an end to Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip, which Israel has denied is committed to destroying Hamas.

The October 7 attack killed more than 1,170 people on the Israeli side, mostly civilians, according to an AFP report based on official Israeli data. During the attack, more than 250 people were kidnapped and 128 people were held captive in Gaza, 35 of whom died, the military said.

Since October 7, Israeli military strikes in the Gaza Strip have killed more than 34,700 people, mostly civilians, according to the latest data from the Health Ministry of the Hamas-held Gaza government.