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Hamas announces openness to any proposals for a permanent ceasefire

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Gaza, April 27 (IANS) Hamas has reportedly announced its openness to any ideas or proposals for a permanent ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

Gaza, April 27 (IANS) Hamas has reportedly announced its openness to any ideas or proposals for a permanent ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

The group said in a statement on Friday that Hamas is “open to any ideas or proposals that take into account the needs and rights of our people”, Xinhua news agency reported.

The statement proposed a permanent ceasefire, withdrawal of occupation forces from Gaza, and unconditional or restricted return of displaced persons to their homes in Gaza and North Gaza governorates and across the Strip.

The statement emphasized accompanying measures such as reconstruction, ending the blockade, fulfilling humanitarian needs, and advancing a prisoner exchange agreement, all aligned with the realization of Palestinian national rights and the establishment of an independent state with Jerusalem as its capital.

It comes as Israeli public radio reported the arrival of Abbas Kamel, the head of the Egyptian intelligence leading an Egyptian security delegation to Israel as part of talks to resume the exchange deal with Hamas.

Israeli radio reported that Kamel will meet in Tel Aviv with the head of the Mossad, David Barnea, and the head of the National Security Council, Tzahi Hanegbi.

The radio mentioned that the Israeli team managing the negotiations presented new proposals to the “War Cabinet” last night, requiring flexibility from the Israeli side.

According to a source familiar with the negotiations, the current proposal for the hostage deal entails the release of 33 hostages, comprising women, soldiers, adults, and the wounded.

According to the source, the duration of the ceasefire within the agreement will depend on the number of hostages to be released.

An Israeli security official reported significant progress in bridging the viewpoints between the Egyptian and Israeli delegations regarding reaching a ceasefire in the sector.

Qatari and Egyptian mediators, along with the United States, are seeking to reach a deal for a prisoner exchange and a second ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, following the first one that lasted until early December last year.

Israel estimates that there are about 134 Israeli hostages in Gaza, while Hamas announced the killing of 70 of them in Israeli indiscriminate airstrikes.

Israel holds more than 9,000 Palestinian prisoners in its jails, whose conditions have worsened since its war on Gaza began, resulting in deaths among them, according to Palestinian organizations concerned with prisoners.

Meanwhile, Hamas said it followed with interest the statement issued by the White House, signed by 18 countries, which primarily called for the immediate release of hostages in the Gaza Strip.

“We express our regret for the statement not addressing fundamental issues for our people, who suffer under a comprehensive genocide war, and for not emphasizing the necessity of a permanent ceasefire and the withdrawal of the occupation army from the Gaza Strip.”

The statement urged the international community to expose the genocide targeting children and civilians in Gaza, prioritize ending it, and resist Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s destabilizing policies aimed at the region, driven by personal political motives.

Eighteen countries issued a joint statement on Thursday, calling on Hamas to “immediately release” the hostages it holds, stating that doing so “will lead to an immediate and long-term ceasefire in Gaza.”

Referring to nations with citizens held captive by Hamas since the attack on Israel last year, these countries stated that releasing the hostages “will facilitate additional humanitarian aid to all parts of Gaza and bring about a lasting cessation of hostilities.”

The statement explained that, in addition, residents in Gaza “will be able to return to their homes and lands with prior arrangements to ensure shelter and humanitarian assistance.”

The statement added, “Let us end this crisis so that we can all focus our efforts on bringing peace and stability to the region.”

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