Hostages being released
Hostages being releasedFlash 90

Hamas has given Qatari and Egyptian mediators its official response to the proposal for a hostage and ceasefire deal, Barak Ravid of Axios reported on Tuesday, citing two sources with knowledge of the issue.

Senior Hamas official Osama Hamdan later told Al Mayadeen that Hamas' response included several comments on the proposal, which was recently outlined by US President Joe Biden.

He said Hamas is committed to what it said before, which is the demand for a ceasefire and the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Gaza.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad said in a joint statement, "A joint delegation of Hamas and Islamic Jihad delivered tonight the answer of the resistance factions to the Qataris during a meeting with the Prime Minister of Qatar. The answer was also delivered to Egypt."

"The response prioritizes the interest of the Palestinian people, and the need to completely stop the ongoing aggression in the Gaza Strip. The Palestinian delegation expressed its willingness to act positively to reach an agreement that will end this war against our people based on a sense of national responsibility," said the statement, quoted by Channel 12 News.

Reuters quoted an official briefed on the talks as saying that the Hamas response includes “a new timeline” for a permanent ceasefire and withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza.

In a joint statement, Qatar and Egypt confirmed that a response from Hamas to the offer was received.

The two countries said they “confirm that their joint mediation efforts with the United States of America will continue until an agreement is reached, and that the mediators will examine the response and coordinate with the parties concerned regarding the next steps.”

White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby confirmed that the US received and is reviewing Hamas' response to the Gaza ceasefire proposal.

"We've only just gotten it. Our team is going through it," he said.

Later on Tuesday night, a senior Israeli official said Israel had received Hamas’ response and added that the terrorist organization rejected Biden’s proposal.

Nevertheless, Hamas political bureau member Izzat Al-Rishq insisted in a conversation with Reuters that the group’s response "opens a wide path" to reach an agreement.

He further claimed that Hamas’ response is "responsible, serious and positive".

According to the proposal outlined by Biden, the first phase of the three-phase process would last for six weeks and would include a full and complete ceasefire, withdrawal of Israeli forces from all populated areas of Gaza, and the release of a number of hostages, including women, the elderly, and the wounded, in exchange for the release of hundreds of Palestinian Arab prisoners.

Phase two would see the release of all remaining living hostages, while phase three would encompass "a major reconstruction plan for Gaza," said the President, as well as the repatriation of the remains of deceased hostages to their families.

On Monday, the United Nations Security Council adopted a US-drafted resolution which backs the proposal for a ceasefire and hostage release deal outlined by Biden and which calls on Hamas to accept the proposal.

14 among the 15 members of the Security Council voted in favor of the proposal, while Russia abstained from the vote.

(Israel National News' North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shavuot in New York. The time posted automatically on all Israel National News articles, however, is Israeli time.)