Hamas response to Gaza ceasefire proposal 'consistent' with principles of US plan, leader says

CAIRO (Reuters) -Hamas’ response to the latest Gaza ceasefire proposal is consistent with the principles put forward in U.S. President Joe Biden’s plan, the group’s Qatar-based leader Ismail Haniyeh said in a televised speech on the occasion of the Islamic Eid al-Adha on Sunday.

“Hamas and the (Palestinian) groups are ready for a comprehensive deal which entails a ceasefire, withdrawal from the strip, the reconstruction of what was destroyed and a comprehensive swap deal,” Haniyeh said, referring to the exchange of Israeli hostages for Palestinian prisoners.

On May 31, Biden laid out what he called a “three-phase” Israeli proposal that would include negotiations for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza as well as phased exchanges of Israeli hostages for Palestinian prisoners held in Israel.

Egypt and Qatar – which along with the United States have been mediating between Hamas and Israel – said on June 11 that they had received a response from the Palestinian groups to the U.S. plan, without giving further details.

While Israel said Hamas rejected key elements of the U.S. plan, a senior Hamas leader told Reuters that the changes the group requested were “not significant”.

(Reporting by Jaidaa TahaEditing by Tomasz Janowski, Kirsten Donovan)

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