Hamas has said that it has responded to a framework proposal for a fresh ceasefire in Gaza.
The specifics of the agreement outlined by Qatar, Egypt, Israel, and the US have not been made public.
A six-week ceasefire during which further Israeli captives would be traded for Palestinian inmates was reportedly part of the agreement.
Both the US and Israel have stated that they are analysing Hamas’s reply.
Currently in the Middle East, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced on Wednesday that he will talk with Israeli authorities about Hamas’s reaction.
President Joe Biden called the response “a little over the top,” implying that the Israeli government will not readily grant the group’s requests, although Blinken has not said how the US sees the action.
A top Hamas official stated that although the organisation had submitted a “positive vision” in response to the framework, it had requested some changes concerning Gaza’s reconstruction, the repatriation of its citizens, and the assistance for the displaced.
According to the spokesperson, Hamas has also requested adjustments to the way people who have been hurt be treated, including sending them home or to hospitals overseas.
A spokesman for Hamas claimed that although the plan was submitted to them about a week ago, it took them until Tuesday to react because certain aspects of it were “unclear and ambiguous.”
The prime minister of Qatar, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman al Thani, has characterised Hamas’s reaction as “positive” overall.
On October 7, Hamas terrorists launched an unprecedented cross-border raid on southern Israel, resulting in the deaths of around 1,300 people and the kidnapping of nearly 250 more. This incident set off the Gaza crisis.
Since then, more than 27,500 people have died in Gaza, according to the health ministry of the territory, which is under Hamas rule and has been under Israeli and Egyptian siege since 2007.
Many nations have classified Hamas as a terrorist group.
In late November, during a week-long truce, 240 Palestinians detained in Israeli jails were exchanged for the release of 105 Israeli and international captives.
According to Israeli army officials briefed earlier this week, the military is “making progress” in its search for Yahya Sinwar, the leader of Hamas in Gaza. This might complicate the timing of any new agreement.
However, there is a lot of internal pressure on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to have the other captives released.
As Blinken travels to Tel Aviv, Israel, looking for progress on the transaction, there’s an added feeling of urgency due to the rising regional crisis.