Hamas rejects Gaza ceasefire proposal without permanent terms

The Islamic group Hamas says it will not agree to a new proposal for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip and the release of hostages unless Israel guarantees a permanent ceasefire and a full withdrawal of its troops.

US President Joe Biden revealed last Friday that Israel proposed to Hamas a three-phase deal, including a six-week ceasefire and the release of hostages.

Hamas issued a statement on Tuesday saying it could not agree to a proposal that does not guarantee or confirm a permanent ceasefire and complete withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reiterated the stance that there would be no permanent ceasefire until Hamas is eliminated.

But he has not clarified his position on the new proposal.

Meanwhile, White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan revealed on Tuesday that the director of the US Central Intelligence Agency, William Burns, would be traveling to Qatar to meet with Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani and other officials.

Burns will hear directly from Qatari officials, who have been negotiating with Hamas.

Media outlets in Egypt are reporting that an Egyptian delegation will also head to Qatar, a possible sign that negotiators are working to resume talks.

Fierce attacks by Israeli forces are continuing in Gaza. Local media say dozens have been killed or injured.

Civilian casualties are increasing nearly eight months into the fighting.