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Hamas says it creates broad prospects for a ceasefire deal in Gaza

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Hamas leadershipHamas on Wednesday said its "positive" response to a U.S. ceasefire plan for the eight-month-old war in the Gaza Strip opened a "wide pathway" to reach an agreement, but the outlook was uncertain as neither the Palestinian group nor Israel publicly committed to a deal.

Hamas submitted its formal response on Tuesday to a proposal outlined by U.S. President Joe Biden on May 31. Israel said the response was tantamount to a rejection while a Hamas official said the Palestinian group merely reiterated longstanding demands not met by the current plan.

Egypt and Qatar said they had received Hamas' response but did not disclose the contents.
Early on Wednesday, Izzat al-Rishq, a member of Hamas' political bureau, said in a statement the group's answer was "responsible, serious and positive" and "opens up a wide pathway" for an accord.
Another Hamas official, who declined to be identified, told Reuters on Tuesday the response reaffirmed the movement's stance that a ceasefire must lead to a permanent end to hostilities in Gaza, withdrawal of Israeli forces, reconstruction of the Palestinian enclave and release of Palestinian prisoners in Israel.


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