Qatar and the Arab Republic of Egypt announced that they have received a response Tuesday from the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) and the Palestinian factions on the recent proposal of a ceasefire deal and exchange of prisoners and detainees.

The two sides underscored that their joint mediation efforts with the United States of America will continue until a deal is reached. The mediators will study the response and coordination with the relevant parties pertaining to the next steps.

The Hamas official response to an Israeli proposal for a ceasefire in Gaza and a hostage exchange contains "amendments", a source with knowledge of the talks told AFP.

"The response contained amendments to the Israeli proposal, including a timeline for a permanent ceasefire and the complete withdrawal of Israeli troops from the Gaza Strip," the source said, adding discussions would continue through Qatari and Egyptian mediators with US co-ordination.

"Hamas accepts a UN resolution backing a plan to end the war with Israel in Gaza and is ready to negotiate details," a senior official of the Palestinian group told Reuters yesterday in what the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called a hopeful sign.

"The Hamas response reaffirmed the group's stance any agreement must end the Zionist aggression on our people, get the Israeli forces out, reconstruct Gaza and achieve a serious prisoners swap deal," a Hamas official told Reuters.

Senior Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri, who is based outside Gaza, said it accepted the ceasefire resolution and was ready to negotiate over the specifics.

"This required a formula stipulating the total withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza and a swap of hostages held in Gaza for Palestinians jailed in Israel. The US administration is facing a real test to carry out its commitments in compelling the occupation to immediately end the war in an implementation of the UN Security Council resolution," Abu Zuhri said.
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