A senior Hamas official said Monday the Palestinian group wanted a “complete and comprehensive ceasefire” in Gaza, after mediator Qatar said a framework for a temporary truce was being proposed.
“We are talking first of all about a complete and comprehensive ceasefire, and not a temporary truce,” Taher al-Nunu told AFP, adding that once the fighting stopped “the rest of the details can be discussed” including a hostage release.
Qatar, along with Egypt and the United States, has led mediation efforts since war broke out on October 7 between Israel and Hamas, triggered by the Palestinian militant group’s deadly attacks on southern Israel.
Earlier on Monday Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said that meetings in Paris with CIA chief Bill Burns and top Israeli and Egyptian security officials had resulted in a framework for a phased truce.
He confirmed that the framework would see women and children hostages released first, with aid also entering the besieged Gaza Strip.
The parties were “hoping to relay this proposal to Hamas and to get them to a place where they engage positively and constructively in the process”, Sheikh Mohammed said.
It was unclear on Monday whether Hamas had received the proposal from Qatar.
Previously, Qatar mediated a one-week break in fighting in late November that led to the release of scores of Israeli and foreign hostages, as well as aid entering the besieged Palestinian territory.
The Hamas attack on October 7 that sparked the war — now in its fourth month — resulted in about 1,140 deaths in Israel, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on official Israeli figures.
Hamas also seized 250 hostages, of whom Israel says around 132 remain in Gaza, including the bodies of at least 28 dead captives.
Israel’s relentless military offensive in Gaza since then has killed at least 26,637 people, most of them women, children and adolescents, according to the Hamas-ruled territory’s health ministry.