Israel says Hamas ceasefire proposal far from meeting its core demands

Following Hamas’ acceptance of a ceasefire proposal to Qatari and Egyptian mediators on Monday, Israel, in a strong response, has said that the proposal is far from meeting their core demands.

Israel’s Prime Minister’s office, shortly after the announcement that the ground offensive will continue in Rafah, in order to apply military pressure on Hamas.

“The War Cabinet unanimously decided this evening Israel will continue its operation in Rafah, in order to apply military pressure on Hamas so as to advance the release of our hostages and achieve the other objectives of the war,” the office of the Prime Minister wrote on X.

It said that the proposal put forward by Hamas is nowhere near Israel’s core demands.

“While the Hamas proposal is far from meeting Israel’s core demands, Israel will dispatch a ranking delegation to Egypt in an effort to maximize the possibility of reaching an agreement on terms acceptable to Israel,” the statement added.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh has sent word of the group’s acceptance of a ceasefire proposal to Qatari and Egyptian mediators, Al Jazeera reported on Monday.

Thousands of people flee eastern Rafah after Israel ordered people to evacuate as fears of a full-blown military assault on the city sheltering more than one million displaced people grow.

The details of the ceasefire deal have not been disclosed.

This comes as Israel’s military issued an urgent evacuation notice to residents of eastern Rafah, following a warning from the country’s defence minister of impending “intense action” in the area.

The conflict in Gaza escalated after the October 7 attack by Hamas, where about 2,500 terrorists breached the border into Israel from the Gaza Strip, leading to casualties and the seizure of hostages.

Israel has since, characterised its Gaza offensive as targeting Hamas’ infrastructure with the goal of eliminating the entire terror group while making efforts to minimize civilian casualties.