Photos of the hostages
Photos of the hostagesMiriam Alster/FLASH90

Lebanon's Al Akhbar newspaper on Wednesday reported that the Egyptian proposal for a ceasefire-prisoner swap agreement does not include a complete withdrawal of IDF forces from Gaza - even in the second stage of the plan.

A Hamas sources said, "The organization is still studying the proposal for a ceasefire."

According to editor Ibrahim al-Amin, the proposal does include enormous amounts of humanitarian aid, an increase in the number of Gazans who will be able to "move freely" (northwards), and a limited withdrawal of IDF forces within Gaza from residential areas - something that is already happening on the ground.

The Al Akhbar editor also said that the new proposal includes an expression of flexibility on Israel's part regarding the names of the terrorists to be released. According to the article, the exact wording of the agreement discusses "an effort to achieve a lasting ceasefire, and to extend it again if Hamas releases additional hostages."

However, it is also reported that Hamas wishes to receive guarantees for the cessation of the fighting, which cannot be interpreted in a different fashion.

Israel, meanwhile, is continuing its preparations for a military operation in Rafah, as Egypt warns that Hamas has placed mines along the Gaza-Egypt border.

The newspaper also said that the US has asked Israel to safely evacuate 800,000 Gazans from Rafah to camps that Egypt has set up from Al-Mawasi to Deir al Balah, and in the Khan Yunis area. According to the report, the plan is to drop flyers from the air and send telephone messages to Gazans, instructing them to evacuate to the camps.

An Egyptian source said Wednesday morning that the negotiations for a ceasefire are ongoing and that there is a "positive spirit." The source also said that Egypt is holding talks with "all sides."

A Hamas source responded to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken's Wednesday morning statements, saying, "The organization is still examining the proposal for a ceasefire; Blinken's words are an attempt to pressure Hamas."