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Israeli official says Hamas rejected US-drafted ceasefire deal proposal

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-06-12 05:19
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Smoke rises following an Israeli air strike, amid the Israel-Hamas conflict, in Nuseirat refugee camp, central Gaza Strip on June 8. [Photo/Agencies]

JERUSALEM -- An Israeli official said on Tuesday that Israel had received Hamas's response to the US-drafted proposal for a ceasefire-hostage release deal and the movement had rejected it, Israel's state-owned Kan TV news reported.

Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad said in a joint statement earlier in the day that they had delivered their response to the proposal to Qatari and Egyptian mediators, expressing a "willingness to deal positively in order to reach an agreement." They emphasized their priority of stopping the war in the Gaza Strip and ensuring the complete withdrawal of Israeli forces from the territory.

Israel has yet to formally announce its position, although both US President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had endorsed the proposal.

White House spokesman John Kirby said the US had received Hamas's response and was evaluating it.

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