Hamas leader says Egypt’s Gaza ceasefire proposal does not include anything new

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A senior Hamas leader said on Thursday that Egypt had put forward a ceasefire proposal to end the conflict in Gaza, but that it did not include anything new.

He added US and Egyptian mediators wanted to keep the ceasefire process alive despite their conviction that there was a wide gap between Israel and Hamas.

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The Hamas leader said a new round of talks may be held before Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan, in Cairo next week between the mediating parties and the Israelis in a new attempt by mediators to reach a ceasefire deal.

“The Hamas leadership informed the Egyptian and Qatari mediators that what is being offered cannot be accepted, as it is a continuation of the stubborn Israeli position,” he added.

Earlier, Hamas official Osama Hamdan said in a press conference from Beirut that there has been no progress in Gaza ceasefire talks despite the Palestinian group showing flexibility.

Hamdan blamed Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the standstill, saying he was placing obstacles that hindered both parties from reaching an agreement, and that he was “not interested” in releasing Israeli hostages.

Egyptian and Qatari efforts, backed by the United States, have so far failed to achieve a ceasefire.

Israel has said it would consider only a temporary truce to free hostages. Hamas has said it will let them go only as part of a deal to permanently end the war.

Netanyahu’s office said on Tuesday the mediators had formulated an updated proposal for Hamas, and Israel expected the mediators to take vigorous action to advance the negotiations.

His office on Thursday declined to offer further comment on its previous statements.

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More than 33,037 Palestinians have been killed and 75,668 have been injured in Israel’s military offensive on Gaza since Oct.7, the Gaza health ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

Israel’s bombardment and invasion of Gaza followed the Hamas-led attack which killed some 1,200 Israelis and foreigners, with more than 250 abducted into Gaza as hostages, according to Israeli tallies.

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