Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said on Tuesday that the group had received a ceasefire proposal put forward after talks in Paris and would study it, adding that he would visit Cairo for discussions on the plan.
Haniyeh said the group’s priority was to end Israel’s military offensive and a full pullout of Israeli forces from Gaza. On Monday night, Hamas rejected the hostage deal drafted in Paris because it did not include a permanent ceasefire.
Hamas and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) reiterated that Israel must halt its Gaza offensive and withdraw from the Strip before any prisoner exchange takes place, Hamas said in a statement on Monday.
In Washington, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the proposal handed to Qatar “was a strong one and a compelling one that offers some hope that we can get back to this process, but Hamas will have to make its own decisions.”
Blinken spoke amid optimism on the part of the US and Qatar, which, along with Egypt, is mediating a deal, that a framework had been found for an agreement.
A hostage deal has been a top US priority since day 1, Blinken stated.
Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed Al-Thani indicated that a hostage deal would be phased with women and children first, as he described the framework agreement that emerged from the Paris talks.