• Hamas Responds to US Proposal for Cease-Fire in Gaza with Key “Amendments”

Tel Aviv, Israel – Hamas, the militant group in Gaza, has responded to the proposed cease-fire deal backed by the United States, expressing interest in some amendments to the agreement. While not fully accepting the U.S. proposal, Hamas has kept negotiations active over the elusive goal of halting the eight-month war.

According to Hamas spokesman Jihad Taha, the response includes suggestions related to the cease-fire, withdrawal of forces, reconstruction efforts, and a potential exchange of prisoners. Despite showing support for the general framework of the deal, Hamas remains cautious about Israel’s commitment to implementing the terms, especially concerning the ultimate end to hostilities and full Israeli withdrawal from Gaza in exchange for the release of all captives held by the group.

Meanwhile, the United Nations human rights office has raised concerns about possible war crimes committed by both Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups. The focus is on a recent deadly raid by Israeli forces that resulted in the freeing of four hostages and the deaths of at least 274 Palestinians.

The ongoing conflict in Gaza has taken a devastating toll, with the Gaza Health Ministry reporting more than 37,100 fatalities. The region is also facing widespread hunger due to disruptions in the supply of essential resources like food and medicine. The situation is dire, with over 1 million people in Gaza at risk of severe starvation by mid-July.

The roots of the current violence trace back to Hamas’ attack on southern Israel on October 7, which resulted in the deaths of approximately 1,200 individuals, mostly civilians, and the abduction of around 250 people. The conflict has escalated, leading to increased tensions and a higher death toll on both sides.

As efforts continue to navigate the path to a potential cease-fire, the international community closely follows developments in the region. The situation remains complex and challenging, with key decisions and negotiations underway to address the ongoing conflict in Gaza.