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Hamas responds to Gaza ceasefire plan with 'remarks'

Antony Blinken speaks to the media as after meeting with families of Israelis held hostage in Tel Aviv, Israel, Tuesday, June 11, 2024. (Jack Guez, Pool Photo via AP)
Antony Blinken speaks to the media as after meeting with families of Israelis held hostage in Tel Aviv, Israel, Tuesday, June 11, 2024. (Jack Guez, Pool Photo via AP) Copyright Jack Guez/AP
Copyright Jack Guez/AP
By Euronews with AP & EBU
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Hamas responded to a US-backed ceasefire proposal with remarks, currently under review by the US, according to Qatari and Egyptian mediators.

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Hamas responded to a US-backed proposal for a Gaza ceasefire and hostage release, with some “remarks” on the deal, Qatari and Egyptian mediators said on Tuesday.

The United States was “evaluating” the response, White House national security spokesman John Kirby told reporters.

Hamas and the smaller Islamic Jihad militant group said they were ready to “deal positively to arrive at an agreement” and that their priority is to bring a “complete stop” to the war. A senior Hamas official, Osama Hamdan, told Lebanon’s Al-Mayadeen television that the group had “submitted some remarks on the proposal to the mediators.” He did not give any details.

The foreign ministries of Qatar and Egypt said in joint statement that they were examining the response and that they would continue their mediation efforts along with the US “until an agreement is reached.”

The news comes as the UN cites possible war crimes committed by Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups following the Nuseirat raid that freed four Israeli hostages.  

Spokesman for the human rights office Jeremy Laurence expressed concerns about potential violations of rules of proportionality, distinction and precaution by Israeli forces during the raid. 

He also said Palestinian armed groups who held hostages in densely populated areas were putting the lives of civilians and hostages at added risk of hostilities. 

Additional aid to Palestinians

Earlier on Tuesday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the UN Security Council’s vote in favour of the Gaza ceasefire plan made it “as clear as it possibly could be” that the world supports the proposal, and called on Hamas to accept it.

While at an international conference in Jordan on the humanitarian response for Gaza, Blinken also announced “an additional $404 million in new aid to Palestinians." 

He also mentioned how Israel has taken what he described as “important steps” in opening crossings to deliver assistance, though “it can and must do more.”  

Blinken said Israel must take further steps to reduce civilian casualties.  

The same day, he met with family members of American hostages in Gaza. 

“We’re working every minute to bring everyone home,” he told families. 

“For me, all of the hostages, but especially our eight American families who have loved ones in Gaza, we are determined to bring them home,” said Blinken, “The proposal that President Biden put forth is the best way to do that.” 

Analyst for the International Crisis Group, Maya Ungar, said the UN Security Council's vote was "an important vote, but it is a symbolic one" aimed at ending the eight-month war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. “

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