Hamas has proposed a ceasefire plan that would see a four-and-a-half-month truce in the organisation’s war with Israel.
The news comes as the conflict that’s claimed the lives of over 27 000 Palestinians and more than 1 200 Israelis entered its fourth month.
Qatar has been working with the US and Egypt in facilitating talks between the warring groups and says Hamas has responded positively to a proposed ceasefire in exchange for hostages.
According to reports, Hamas’ counterproposal no longer require a guarantee of a permanent ceasefire at the outset, but that an end to the war would have to be agreed on during the truce before the final hostages are freed.
Hamas has also reiterated its demand for an end to the Israeli assault on Gaza.
According to the militant group’s draft document, the counterproposal envisions three phases; lasting 45 days each.
During that time, Hamas says it will release the remaining Israeli hostages the group kidnapped on October 7, in exchange for Palestinian prisoners jailed in Israel.
In November, 100 hostages and 240 Palestinian prisoners were freed during a one-week truce.
US President, Joe Biden, gave a hesitant response when asked about the progress of a proposed truce deal for Israel’s war on Gaza.
Saudi Arabia’s stance
Saudi Arabia says it will not establish diplomatic relations with Israel unless an independent Palestinian state is recognised.
The Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud who met with US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, said that they will have relations if an independent state is established on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem, as its capital.
Blinken is currently on a Middle East crisis tour with hopes to broker a new truce in the Israel-Hamas war.
In a statement, the Saudi Arabian foreign ministry says that the relations will also cease to exist until the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip stops completely.
“The Kingdom has communicated its firm position to the US administration that there will be no diplomatic relations with Israel unless an independent Palestinian state is recognized on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem, as its capital.”
“The Kingdom also reiterated its call for permanent members of the U.N. Security Council that have not recognised a Palestinian state to do so,” a ministry statement said.
The remarks come after Blinken visited Saudi Arabia and met with the Crown Prince in Riyadh.
Blinken has said he would discuss the response with Israel’s officials when he visits the country today.
Meanwhile, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to hold a press conference this evening in Jerusalem at 7:30 pm.
Netanyahu has been vehemently rejected a two-state solution and has continuously said that Israel has a right to defend itself.
However Tel Aviv’s staunch allies, the United States and Britain, have reiterated their support for the two-state solution.
The four-month-long war has left more than 66 000 Palestinians injured; caused widespread destruction and uprooted over 80% of the Gaza Strip’s 2.3 million people from their homes.
When asked about the progress of a proposed truce deal for Israel’s war on Gaza, US President Joe Biden gave a hesitant response in which he described Hamas as ‘the opposition’.
— Raise_Your_Voice (@AzireMuazam) February 7, 2024
1/ #Hamas proposa;: 135 day truce ending in complete Israeli withdrawal: In the first 45-days, all Israeli women hostages, males under 19, elderly & sick 2 B released, in exchange 4 Palestinian women & children held in #Israeli jails. Israel withdraws troops from populated areas
— Gina Lennox (@LennoxGina) February 7, 2024
Written by: Nonhlanhla Harris