Hamas appears to clear way for possible cease-fire deal with Israel after reportedly dropping key demand

Hamas appears to clear way for possible cease-fire deal with Israel after reportedly dropping key demand

There is new hope for a cease-fire deal in the Middle East after Hamas responded to a U.S.-backed proposal for a phased deal in Gaza.

The militant group – which controlled Gaza before triggering the war with an Oct. 7 attack on Israel – has reportedly given initial approval of the cease-fire deal after dropping a key demand that Israel give an up-front commitment for a complete end to the war, a Hamas and an Egyptian official told the Associated Press on Saturday.

A senior U.S. official says that Hamas’ response to the proposal “may provide the basis for closing the deal.”

Israel says it’s restarting stalled negotiations for a cease-fire deal in Gaza


CBS News previously reported that an Israel delegation headed by Mossad Director David Barnea was traveling to Qatar for talks. Sources told CBS News that Barnea was set to meet with Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani for discussions.

On Friday, the Israeli prime minister confirmed that the spy agency’s chief had paid a lightning visit to Qatar, a key mediator. But his office said “gaps between the parties” remained.

President Biden held a 30-minute call with Netanyahu on Thursday, a senior Biden administration official told reporters, during which the two leaders walked through the latest draft of the proposal.

U.S. officials have said the latest proposal has new language that was proposed to Egypt and Qatar on Saturday and addresses indirect negotiations that are set to commence during the first phase of the three-phase deal that Mr. Biden laid out in a May 31 speech.

Hamas has expressed concern Israel will restart the war after the hostages are released. Israeli officials have said they are worried Hamas will draw out the talks and the initial cease-fire indefinitely, without releasing all the hostages.

Netanyahu is under pressure from Israel’s closest ally – the United States – to negotiate a ceasefire, but at home, two far-right wing members of his cabinet have threatened to bring down the governing coalition if he agrees to a truce.

Israel bombardment continues

The Hamas-run Interior Ministry said four police officers were killed in an Israeli airstrike Saturday in Rafah, the AP reported. The ministry, which oversees civilian police, said the officers were killed during foot patrol securing properties. It said eight other police officers were wounded. Israel’s military did not immediately respond to questions.

In Deir al-Balah, prayers were held for 12 Palestinians, including five children and two women, killed in three separate strikes in central Gaza on Friday and Saturday, according to hospital officials. The bodies were taken to al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital, where AP journalists counted them.

Two of those killed in a strike that hit the Mughazi refugee camp Friday were employees with the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees, the organization’s director of communications told the AP. Juliette Touma said a total of 194 workers with the agency have been killed since October.

Israel Palestinians
Palestinians displaced by the Israeli air and ground offensive on the Gaza Strip walk next to sewage flowing into the streets of the southern town of Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, July 4, 2024.

Jehad Alshrafi / AP

Earlier this week, an Israeli evacuation order in the southern city of Khan Younis and the surrounding areas affected about 250,000 Palestinians. Many headed to an Israeli-declared “safe zone” centered on the Muwasi coastal area or Deir al-Balah.

Ground fighting has raged in Gaza City’s Shijaiyah neighborhood for the past two weeks, forcing tens of thousands of people to flee their homes. Many have sheltered in the Yarmouk Sports Stadium, one of the strip’s largest soccer arenas.



Source: cbsnews.com