The political head of Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, communicated this Monday, May 6, 2024, to Egypt and Qatar that the Islamist group has accepted his proposal for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip.

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Hamas made the announcement in a brief statement in which it offered no further details, after the Israeli Army ordered some 100,000 Palestinians in eastern Rafah to evacuate the town in the face of a possible ground assault.

“Ismail Haniyeh, head of the Hamas movement’s political bureau, held a call with Qatari Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani and Egyptian Intelligence Minister Abbas Kamel and informed them of the Hamas movement’s approval of their proposal on a ceasefire agreement,” the Palestinian group said.

Indirect negotiations between Hamas and Israel to achieve a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip appeared to be at a standstill after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused to end the war, a key demand of the Islamist group.

This Monday morning, in fact, thousands of Palestinians in the southern town of Rafah received messages urging them to evacuate to the Khan Younis area, raising alarms about the possibility that the Army will soon begin its announced ground invasion in southern Gaza.

The Islamist group warned Israeli forces that any military operation in Rafah “will not be a picnic,” and that the group’s armed wing, the al Qasam Brigades, are prepared to “defend our people.”

Hamas also asked the international organizations that still operate in the enclave, and in particular the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), not to abandon it following Israeli evacuation orders.

What would the relationship between Israel and Hamas be like?

The truce proposal accepted this Monday by the Islamist group Hamas includes a three-phase ceasefire in the Gaza Strip, which will include the release of the hostages held by the Palestinian movement, but it has to be approved by Israel, they informed the EFE news agency sources close to the conversations.

The sources, who asked not to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter, They indicated that in the first phase a 40-day cessation of hostilities with the possibility of extension will be applied, as well as the withdrawal of Israeli forces towards the east of the Strip and away from densely populated areas.

Likewise, the proposal presented by Egypt and Qatar contemplates the return of the displaced to their homes, as also advanced by the Qatari network Al Jazeera and the Egyptian state television Al Qahera News, very close to the Intelligence of the North African country.

From the first day of the truce, Hamas would release three hostages every three days, while Israel will release “the corresponding number of Palestinian prisoners.”a figure yet to be agreed upon.

For his part, Hamas political bureau member Khalil al Haya told Al Jazeera that the second phase of the agreement includes “a permanent cessation of military operations” by Israel in Gaza.

He noted that in the second and third stages, indirect negotiations would be carried out with Israel through the mediation of Egypt and Qatar on “the keys” to the following exchanges of hostages for Palestinian prisoners.

He added that “the ball is now in the court of the Israeli occupation”which must decide whether or not to accept the terms of this agreement presented by Egypt and Qatar.

“We are waiting for the occupation’s response to our approval of the ceasefire proposal”said the Hamas leader.

At the moment the official position of the Israeli authorities is not known, although, according to media such as the public channel Kan or channel 12 news, the agreement accepted by Hamas does not have the green light from Israel.

The media, citing Israeli government officials, They said that the offer that Hamas has accepted was made by Egypt unilaterally, and that it is not being taken into account at the moment until the details are clarified.

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