Hamas Drops Key Demand, Clearing Way For Potential Ceasefire: REPORT

(Photo by EYAD BABA/AFP via Getty Images)

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Hamas gave initial approval for a proposed ceasefire deal after dropping one of its key demands, the Associated Press reported.

Hamas, which launched the Oct. 7 attack on Israel that took hundreds hostage and killed 1,200 people, agreed to no longer seek a commitment from Israel to completely end the war, according to the AP, citing an Egyptian and a Hama official. The proposal would stop the fighting for six weeks, with the terrorist group releasing female, ill and older hostages in exchange for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners and Israel withdrawing from the northern portion of Gaza. (RELATED: Israeli Forces Rescue Four Hostages From Gaza, IDF Says)

The two sides would then negotiate the return of the remaining hostages in exchange for prisoners, with an eventual rebuilding program to be established, the AP reported. The proposal is backed by the United States.

A senior Hamas official, however, denied that it had dropped the demand, CBS News reported on Sunday.

SOUTHERN ISRAEL, ISRAEL – JUNE 24: A view over the Gaza Strip as seen from a position on the Israeli side of the border on June 24, 2024 in Southern Israel, Israel. In an interview on June 23, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said “the intense phase of the fighting against Hamas is about to end,” suggesting that the campaign in Rafah would be the last major offensive of the war.  (Photo by Amir Levy/Getty Images)

President Joe Biden has urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to accept a ceasefire deal, saying during an April phone call that an “immediate ceasefire” is “essential.”

Israeli forces freed four hostages on June 8 in raids on two locations in the central Gaza refugee camp of Nuseirat. The freed hostages included Noa Argamani, Almog Meir Jan, Andrey Kozlov and Shlomi Ziv.

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to include additional reporting.

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