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Israel says studying Hamas's approval to ceasefire deal

Xinhua | Updated: 2024-05-07 00:58

Smoke rises following Israeli strikes, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on May 6. [Photo/Agencies]

GAZA/JERUSALEM -- Hamas on Monday said it has told the Egyptian and Qatari sides that the movement approved their proposal regarding a ceasefire deal in the Gaza Strip, while Israel said it is currently studying the response.

In separate phone calls, Hamas politburo chief Ismail Haniyeh informed Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani and Egyptian Intelligence Chief Abbas Kamel of the decision, according to a statement received by Xinhua.

An Israeli official told Xinhua that Israel has received Hamas's response to the Egyptian intermediaries over a deal proposal for a ceasefire and hostage release and is currently studying it.

Israel's Ynet site quoted senior Israeli officials as saying that the Egyptian-Qatari ceasefire proposal accepted by Hamas "had no input from Israel and is not acceptable." The officials called it an exercise and a unilateral proposal without Israeli involvement.

Israeli media reported on Monday that Israel's war cabinet has approved the launch of a ground offensive on Rafah that would take place after the civil population is evacuated.

Also on Monday, the Israeli army carried out airstrikes on areas in eastern Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. Sources and eyewitnesses said the raids caused large explosions and inflicted significant damage on nearby structures, with no injuries reported yet.

Before the attacks started, the Israeli army called on the Palestinian civilian population to temporarily evacuate from eastern Rafah.

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