Hamas proposes 3-stage ceasefire over 135 days, leading to end of war with Israel

Hamas militant group has proposed a four-and-a-half-month ceasefire plan that would lead to an end to the war, in response to a proposal sent last week by Qatari and Egyptian mediators backed by the United States and Israel.

Israel launched a deadly offensive on Gaza on 7 October, which resulted in the death of at least 27,585 Palestinians and injuring 66,978 others.

The Israeli offensive has left 85 per cent of Gaza’s population internally displaced amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60 per cent of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

According to a draft document seen published  Wednesday, February 7, the Hamas counter proposal envisions three phases lasting 45 days each.

The proposed deal would see Palestinian resistance groups exchange the remaining Israeli prisoners of war they captured on 7 October for Palestinian prisoners. The reconstruction of Gaza would begin, Israeli forces would withdraw completely and bodies and remains would be exchanged.

 

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived Tuesday night in Israel after meeting the leaders of mediators Qatar and Egypt in the most serious diplomatic push of the war so far aimed at reaching an extended truce between both sides.

According to the Hamas counter-proposal, all Israeli women hostages, males under 19, the elderly and the sick would be released during the first 45-day phase in exchange for the release of Palestinian women and children from Israeli jails.

The remaining male hostages would be released during the second phase, and remain exchanged in the third phase. By the end of the third phase, Hamas would expect the sides to have reached an agreement on an end to the war.

The group said in an addendum to the proposal that it wished for the release of 1,500 prisoners, a third of whom it wanted to select from a list of Palestinians handed life sentences by Israel.

The truce would also increase the flow of food and other aid to Gaza’s desperate civilians who are facing hunger and dire shortages of basic supplies as a result of Israel’s brutal siege on the enclave.

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