The White House is optimistic after Hamas’ ceasefire proposal

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The White House expressed a cautious tone of optimism on Friday, after the Hamas presented a proposal to secure a ceasefire in the besieged Gaza Strip.

National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said in a press conference that the proposal “certainly falls within the bounds of the agreement that we have been working on now for several months”.

He explained, “The fact that there is a new delegation now heading to the Qatari capital, Doha, on the one hand, and that Hamas’s proposal exists, and there are talks about it on the other hand… all of this is good”.

Kirby expressed cautious optimism, saying, “Things are moving in a good direction, but this doesn’t mean that the matter is over, and we must remain in this until the end”.

In response to a question about whether the White House had seen Israel’s plan to storm the city of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, the spokesman said, “We haven’t seen it, and we would like to see it”.

He stressed that, “The United States won’t support a plan that doesn’t properly take into account one and a half million refugees in Gaza, who need a place to go in order to save them from the fighting”.

Kirby stressed, “We cannot support a major attack in Rafah that doesn’t also include a credible, achievable, and implementable plan to care for the safety and security of more than a million Palestinians in Rafah”.

Earlier Friday, an informed Palestinian source revealed that the Hamas movement’s proposal, which it presented to the Qatari and Egyptian mediators for calm in Gaza, includes three stages, including an exchange of prisoners, the return of displaced persons to northern Gaza, and the declaration of a permanent ceasefire in the second stage.

It’s worth mentioning that the proposal presented by Hamas includes 3 stages, each stage lasting 6 weeks.

The first phase of Hamas proposal includes the withdrawal of the Israeli forces from city centers and from al Rashid and Salah al Din Streets, for the return of displaced people from the south to the north and the passage of aid.

The first phase of the proposal includes the release of women, children, and elderly Israeli prisoners in Gaza in exchange for the release of more than 700 Palestinian prisoners in Israel.

The second phase of the truce will include the release of captured soldiers in Gaza, provided that a permanent ceasefire will be announced before the start of the soldier exchange process.

Hamas offered to let Israel release 50 Palestinian prisoners, 30 of whom were serving life sentences, in exchange for its release of every living Israeli conscript prisoner.

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