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Israel says Hamas rejects key elements of the US ceasefire plan for Gaza

Hamas formally responded on Tuesday to a US proposal for a ceasefire on the eight-month war in the Gaza Strip, and Israel said the response amounted to a rejection, while a Hamas official said the Palestinian group was merely a long-standing reiterated requirements not met by the current plan.

Egypt and Qatar said they had received Hamas’ response to a proposal outlined by US President Joe Biden on May 31, but did not make the contents public.

The Hamas official, who declined to be identified, said the response confirmed his position that a ceasefire must lead to a permanent end to hostilities in Gaza, the withdrawal of Israeli troops, the reconstruction of the Palestinian enclave and the release of Palestinian prisoners in Israel. “We reiterated our previous position. I think there are no big gaps. The ball is now in the Israeli court.”

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